How do you discipline an almost three year old?

Lisa - posted on 12/17/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a little girl who will be three in February and I don't know how to disciplne her. I've tried putting her in time outs but she will not stay. Tried putting her back and starting time over many many times. I have two older boys and never had a problem disciplining them. So what do you do when your child throws fits all the time, whines all the time, throws toys, hits other kids, picks on her brother any chance she gets, calls you names, draws on the walls, uses permanent marker on your white carpet...etc, etc....and time outs just don't work! Pulling my hair out, please help!!!

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Esther - posted on 12/18/2011

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how long are her time outs? I know many advice to do as long as their number of years, but most kids don't remember why they are there after 2 minutes. My son is put in time out for about 10/20 seconds, then I open the door and ask him if he knows why he was there, if not I sometimes put him back in to think a little (if the behaviour was really bad) and other times I will tell him why, he needs to apologize and then he can play again.
Sometimes going the other way around will help as well. Instead of taking her out of the situation, take yourself and the other kids out of kid. Go outside and play, or to another room (make sure she can still see you and you her), she will notice her bad behaviour is depriving her of fun time..
Time ins can help as well. Instead of letting her sit in the hall, put her on your lap and hold her, tell her you love her. Comliment her good behaviour, tell dad when he comes home about the positive things she's done.

Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 12/17/2011

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My eldest just turned 2 at the end of October, so a bit younger, but for him time-outs work for 'violent' behaviour (throwing/hitting), everything else I threaten to take away his toys. Yesterday was the first time I actually had to take the toy away, within about 2mins he was saying sorry. I gave him it back after he said sorry as that's what I told him I would do, but if he then continued the same behaviour I'd keep it longer.
I usually say I'll take away whatever he is playing with, or his favourite truck (I swear if it fit in his bed he would sleep with it!).

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Jaynell Louise Lyn - posted on 02/12/2013

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I use the reward system with stickers. When my kiddos threw toys... I took ALL the toys and put up high and left kiddos with nothing to play with. The more they filled out the sticker sheet for good deeds and not picking on siblings... they would EARN toys back. I also have a close communication with my kids... so belive it or not... even though they are no longer little... 20yr., 17.5 yr., 12 yr. and 11 yr.... they talk to me about all the good and bad in their day. We experienced many thing together that made me think what it was like their age. To this day... they request (or tap their foot waiting) for a hug and kiss from mom... me :) They are not embarrassed of me... we have understandings and trust me.. it caters to each personality :)

Cyndi - posted on 12/19/2011

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Time Out is only effective if it is done properly - every time. She gets a warning and is told face to face at her level what the warning is for and what the consequence will be: "This is your warning. If you don't stop ____ you will go into time out." Simple wording and calm tones help her understand. If the behavior continues, no more warnings. Calmly walk her to the time out spot (I have even improvised spots in public or at someone elses home) and again get down on her level to tell her face to face why she is there and for how long. She won't necessarily understand how long '3 minutes' is but she is able to see it as a consequence of her actions. Always use simple words, short phrases, and a calm voice. Now the fun part. You may have to spend a whole morning putting her back in time out because she keeps getting up but remember who is in charge here - with your patience she WILL learn to stay put. When her time is up, again explain calmly (face to face) why she was there, ask her to say she is sorry, then give her a hug and tell her you love her. All is forgiven once the time is up. Theres a learning curve for both of you but now my 2 year old rarely gets past the warning. Good Luck and stay strong!

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