Ways to discipline a toddler who thinks your playing.....

Allecia - posted on 10/02/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




Okay so I just found this lovely community while searching for ideas to keep my girlie's diaper on at night and I have to ask this...

My 19 mth old has been great, slept through the night since she was very young(even around 6 hrs at a week old) and other than a couple sick nights, teething or shots all in all she will sleep a good 12 hours, even if I wake her for changing she will fight me to roll over and go back to sleep by herself....

Anyways Daddy thinks I'm too much of a softie(he's probably right) because when she gets cranky because she's tired(she has always fought naps/bed time) or gets mad because I don't give her something she wants(which is usually when she is tired...but there have been times she was well rested and just being moody or teething) she WILL NOT listen to me. Sometimes its about kicking during diaper changes, other times throwing toys, hitting(its 99% of the time been at my leg)....If I pop her hand(or when trying to change diaper side leg/butt cheek area) she hits back or just giggles like I'm playing. I'm not one for yelling but even if I increase my tone and tell her No Mam she still giggles. Daddy can just look at her or just say No mam and she'll pout, half the time actually burst into tears.

My OB(I'm 8 mths preg) who has 2 boys and other moms I've talked to at the OB doctor have told me I'm just being too soft...One suggested a gentle pinch under the arms(something about it being more tender and she said no its never left a mark). But I think that is just going to get the same reaction, trying to pinch me back so I haven't done it. Only thing left is the go to the crib/play pen and I don't want that to be a type of punishment, even though she has always acted like it was.

So whats some other methods I can try?


Amanda - posted on 10/02/2012




The best thing I can think of is take a serious tone, and try to have an expression she can begin to recognize as your serious face, and tell her "No ma'am, I'm not playing." So if she's kicking during a diaper change, "I'm not playing, don't kick," and hold down her legs gently to show her what you mean, praise her when she stops so she begins to understand it's a good thing when she listens to you.

When she hits you get down to her level, say the same thing and hold her arms so she stops. You could even try telling her, "No hits, Mommy likes hugs," and give her a hug. I also count to three (started when they were about your daughter's age) it's worked wonders with my boys, just be sure to follow through everytime. I say 1 and repeat what I want them to do, 2 repeat it again, and then 3 and repeat one more time. If they haven't at least begun doing what I've told them to do then I follow through. And praise her when she's good. When she throws a toy have her pick it up and pick/clean up anything she may have knocked over (it's a good habit to start early.) The more inconvienent being naughty is, the more she'll not want to do those things.

When you get to three you do not have to put her in time out. With my first child simply making him do what I told him was enough to get him to start doing it himself before I got to 3. So if I told him to stop climbing on something and counted to 3 and he didn't listen, making him get down was enough to spur him on to listen the next time. I usually reserve time-outs for meltdowns. I don't know if any of this will work, but I hope it's helpful.


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Allecia - posted on 10/04/2012




I'm sure I've heard consistency a few times but it really is harder than it sounds. I'm sure it comes easy for some but I've honestly never really had a lot of consistency in my life(not to mention I'm only 26 as well so I'm sure there is still plenty to learn) and I'm an only child from 2 parents who were told by several marriage counslers that their dysfunction was the only kind of normal they could cope with. Somehow I was never really a bad teenager and my Grandmother is amazed how I turned out but that also has given me a lot to learn on my own with my mistakes along the way.

I really appreciate and am definitely better understanding after reading both of your replies. Now that you've put it into words I realize your totally right(I mean I know about the entire learn from you aspect) but I never really recognized her entire "trying to get my sole attention and reading my mood" aspect. My general response to her kicking IS to give her my complete attention, look at her, say No mam we don't kick and then I have to keep ahold of her legs while maneuvering her butt and she generally just tries to pry my fingers off of her legs(or twists which sometimes works if I don't have a really good hold) and pouts/whines.

Even though I am a stay at home mom, I am constantly, constantly a brooder/worrier/etc. and dwell on the million and one things I need to accomplish. I have always been a multi-tasker, consistently working at the computer, picking up laundry, answering business calls on cell, and trying to organize in my head everything that needs to be done(and somehow I still never have what I would like and thats a organized/clean house).

And aside from that our work(as my fiance is at home too though I don't even want to get into how much more he needs to be doing, he is just not the mature, responsible type) is spontaneous and often not able to be scheduled or planned more than a day in advance.

One thing my daughter does get is sleep, she has slept through the night since she was only a few months old and other than being sick/teething and 2 weeks of terrible diaper rash(in which she was woken up for changing) will sleep 10-14 hours all through the night and gets 2 naps during the day(1-3 hours). Now I've honestly been putting her down for naps by interpretation(although it goes follow a general routine give or take an hour) and even though hubby is at home I am the first one up with her and spends the majority of time with her. Now she has been doing great lately about me putting her down for naps, bed time has been Daddy's deal for several weeks and she doesn't give him any trouble so I haven't even tried lately.

And both of us do flash cards and reading but she is very much a mover, constantly on the go. She will not sit still for any length of time, even feeding time will not last more than 5-10 mins without a lot of squirming, whining, and trying to stand up in her high chair. You sit down with a book(or even flash cards) and start reading to her, she is very hands on, trying to constantly turn pages, close and open the book, etc. Now books where I ask her to identify things or tell her what all the pictures are, that lasts a few minutes longer but not much. Pre-K Hooked on Phonics DVD(where it sings the Alphabet and has the sound of each letter) holds her attention better than any book or flash card.

Cuddling she just wants to turn into playing, or peek-a-boo, etc. She will lay her head down, 10 secs later its up and she babbles or wants down or moves to another pillow, rinse/repeat. Tell her head on a pillow and again, then a few minutes later its trying to escape and be "free" as I put it. Now she is a hugger, loves hugs, will give hugs(even to other children she has known all of 5 minutes). But again its short hugs and then she will push away to be free.

Is that like typical mobile toddler or borderline sign of AD/HD or just due to needed more consistency and her knowing exactly what to expect? Now I personally feel too many children have been diagnosed wrongly. Its like the new "normal" and I went through that as a teen with my mom which was just result of lack of a decent family environment and that big word again....consistency.

Anyways now that I've gone into way more details, off topic and several paragraphs later I will definitely be trying out your ideas and that is what I have been doing. Trying to find something that works since I know every child is different. All in all she is great 80% of the time, its just that other 20% that is just driving me nuts(course part of that could be hormonal pregnancy tired frustration ness that she is reading as well - I'm sure thats not helping her reaction to me) - might also explain why she is forever bringing me a toy or her teddies to hug which always makes me smile at her and then we get a group hug).

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