Resources for learning how to discipline a 2.5yo?

[deleted account] ( 2 moms have responded )

I am looking for advice and/or resources to help me figure out how to discipline my daughter. These tantrums and my seemingly inability to react to them either consistently or in any sort of way I feel good about, is really starting to get me down.

My daughter is a generally sweet, though very independent and strong-willed little girl. In general she had behaved quite well until recently. Now everything is NO, or a silent refusal, or just outright defiant. Some of this I realize is normal, but how much? Today I said, "let's not put our wet fingers on the iPad", which she responded to by licking her entire hand and wiping it all over my iPad. Is that a pathological response by a child or a normal one? This time I calmly picked it up and took it away, then suggested we do something else. Should I have tried to get her to apologize or told her that wasn't nice, or said anything at all?

Monday I was stressed and she refused to hang up her coat. I asked her 4-5x with increasing volume and frustration, then put her in time out. She responded by asking me if she could eat dinner, so I started yelling at her, "no you cannot eat dinner, you can't do anything until you hang up your coat, I've asked you 5x already why can't you just pick up your coat?" etc. she started sobbing real tears which made me feel awful. So I gave her hug and told her that I was very frustrated and that she needed to pick her coat, which she did. But I felt so bad for having scared her that I apologized for it several times that days which I know makes me seem weak and ineffective.

What to do with this mamas?


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Gigi - posted on 11/15/2012




maybe it would help if you'd set up some sort of reward/take away privilege system? You ask her once to do something and if she does it you reward her, if she refuses you tell her that "since she hasn't done what you asked you won't be going to the playground, paint or something along these lines. It just has to be something that is understandable to her and that is in proportion to what she did. And most importantlythe consequence should be visible to her soon, not hours after.

As for feeling bad to yell at her, in a perfect world parents don't yell at their children and they all get along perfectly the whole day (insert happy family baking cookies in their white shirts, not a speck of dirt or tears in sight). In real world, this probably won't be the last time you yelled at her, and thats ok, but if you catch yourself yelling and screaming at her 5 times a day, its a good sign that something has to change. When I lose patience with my daughter and overreact, I apologize as well, I don't think it makes me seem weak - we all make mistakes.

Someone once told me that using a form of "no" too often in a sentence will kind of result in people ignoring "no" and just hearing the rest of sentence. So see how often you use "no" (and I am well aware that as mothers we all use it whole day long), but I noticed that when I try to make a positive sentence (when I can), it works better. For example, instead of saying "Lets not put wet fingers on the ipad" you could say "Lets keep wet fingers off the ipad" and see if it makes a difference.

You mentioned that she just started recently behaving like this, so its probably just temporary behavior, but you still have to stand your ground. If you reward her, make it very nice and if she is "punished" and starts crying - don't back down. Acknowledge her feelings, but do what you said you will.

Kelly - posted on 11/14/2012




A book that has helped me is called Love and Logic early childhood. It teaches so much! I have been using the techniques with my 22month old for two months and it really has made a world of difference. I hope you will read it.

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