How to raise a stubborn toddler?

Evalyn - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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How to discipline and communicate with stubborn 20 month old. Time outs don't faze him. He does things when and how he wants to or throws a fit whether I react or not.



Any advice?

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Karla - posted on 05/04/2012

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I have had 2 boys like yours. Full blown fist $ feet banging on the floor. I kneel down and softly whisper that I am sad and disappointed but his behavior (rambling on in a whisper) and that he will have to sit in the corner until he is calm or we can calm down together but counting to 3 and taking a deep breath. Whispering works better than ignoring it or yelling because it isn't expected and they are so curious at that age that they want to hear what you are saying but can't hear you over their own screaming and crying therefore they begin to get quieter and quieter so they can hear you.
Good luck

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Christine - posted on 05/05/2012

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I have a 22 month old. I do the corner time out for my oldest 8yrs. But my almost two year old I think is too young, maybe in age more months. Counting to 3 is a good thinks to start doing at this age but they dont completely understand,. With my oldest I barely ever reached 3 and if I did it meant corner time (how old they are for minutes)
My biggest problem is my little one screams a lot when she's upset an usually it's bc she wants something so if I tell her to SAY please instead of yelling it helps. If she's inconsolable I'll give her a break and ignore it and she will finally calm down... That happens in the carseat a lot :(
They will get better as they understand more.

Amanda - posted on 05/04/2012

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Pick your fights and offer an alternative way of letting him vent his frustrations.
If my son is kicking and screaming he's allowed to shout as loud as he likes in his room or go out a kick a ball. If my daughter wants to a green tshirt, hot pink skirt, and blue socks with a hat and gloves, why does it matter if we are staying in. Even if we are going out and I want her to wear her white shoes and she wants pink, it really doesn't matter as long as she has shoes on her feet and we leave the house on time.

Amanda - posted on 05/04/2012

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Pick your fights and offer an alternative way of letting him vent his frustrations.
If my son is kicking and screaming he's allowed to shout as loud as he likes in his room or go out a kick a ball. If my daughter wants to a green tshirt, hot pink skirt, and blue socks with a hat and gloves, why does it matter if we are staying in. Even if we are going out and I want her to wear her white shoes and she wants pink, it really doesn't matter as long as she has shoes on her feet and we leave the house on time.

Evalyn - posted on 05/04/2012

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;) thanks, I will try and be consistent to have a reasonable consequence so he isn't a spoiled brat and fingers crossed he grows out of it. :) I have been turning to prayer....a lot for patience.

Sally - posted on 05/04/2012

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Endless mountainous piles of patience. They eventually outgrow it if you stay as sane and consistent as possible. Try not to lose it where they can see and just keep trying. Time outs work better on my very stubborn and independent 30 month old if I hold her during them.
Good luck

Evalyn - posted on 05/04/2012

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Thanks for your comments ladies. I have not tried the nose in the corner, I'm sure he would hate it as if I do give a time out I have to hold him down. I am pretty sure his hearing is fine, he responds to noises big and small. He does know quite a gew words but will only say them in his own time, never on demand. I have taught him a number of signs and he will do them when he is in the mood, I have to force it to get him to learn it....unless he is in the mood. When he is feeling sweet he does it willingly.

He is not always stubborn and has a really fun and funny personality. He is just such a drama King. If he doesn't get what he wants he dramatically throws his body flat on the ground like its the end of the world. Say he wants some blueberries and motions he would like one. I open my hand and offer him some but no, he wants to pick them up out of the container himself.


I know it's not that big of deal but I don't want a spoiled brat on my hands that gets away with whatever because he makes such a big deal about it and that gets what he wants when the 3 year old has to follow the rules and take what is given.

Erica - posted on 05/04/2012

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Does he hear ok? I only ask because my nephew was the same way I litterally had to hold him down when he threw fits. He couldn't really speak and doc sent him to have his ears checked and he could hardly hear out of both ears. Once he started speech therapy and got tubes he was a whole new kid. He is still stubborn but much much more like his age. Does it feel like he's ignoring you all the time? If you get in with your area Health Dept. They should have a program like Help Me Grow and they can direct you to some one to do a FREE assesment on your child and look for any Develpmental delays. If they think he may need his ears checked they normally have some kind of contract with local offices that you can get 1 free screening for being apart of their program. If he needs the therapy and is qualified he could get free E.I. (Early Intervention) services in most states until he's 3. I'm not trying to worry you but I've seen parent's at their whits end on this subject before and a lot of times it stems from a frustration they didn't know their child was dealing with. Not by any fault, there is just no way to know everything! But most generally these services are free so you aren't loosing anything if his ears are fine. :0)

Lindsey - posted on 05/03/2012

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I agree with Misty on the reward chart. Too much discipline will just set him off and make it worse, and might as well make it positive. I do time outs with my 2 yr old daughter and she has to put her nose in the corner and not move until she is quiet. Then, I say, "Ok, you can get out now" and I get down face to face with her and either make her apologize or tell her what she did wrong and not to do it anymore. For my daughter, the quiet time resets her, and she can't stand her nose being in the corner for very long.

Evalyn - posted on 05/03/2012

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Thanks, that seems to work on my 3 year old but my 21 month old is still a little young. Maybe in a few more months. Good idea though, he does love praise and rewards.

Misty24_fleshstar - posted on 05/03/2012

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i have tried a reward chart... that has worked the best...dont take anything away when he is in trouble just when he is good add a sticker or smily face... for example...mine has sleeping in bed..sharing..clean toy room...saying please and thank you...random acts of kindness...and a few others and if he earns a certain amount of stickers he gets to go get a dollar toy/candy...but i have done this with my 2 year old and 3 year old...

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