Thursday, February 18, 2010

Disciplining a 2 year old...

Alright so I need help. Wesley typically responds to counting (1...don't do that, or you will get time out. you want time out? 3...) He will usually stop right after 1, sometimes he will get a time out but our old method of time out no longer works. He would be placed in his play place until he could say "I'm sorry, (name of person)." Now he can climb out of it. (Not to mention he's picked up on that he gets out after saying sorry)
The other day at the park we were running on the grass and he ran up to where the rocks were and started going toward the road. I told him to come back to the grass. He looked at me and kept going. I said, "1...we will go home Wesley." He stops and looks and continues. "2...Do you want to go home?" Stops and looks again and continues. "3." Screaming from Wesley as he darts toward the grass. I pick him up and take him over to the stroller. Once I attempted to put him in his stroller he started to throw a tantrum so it was impossible for me to put him in. I told him he would get a time out. He still didn't stop so I sat him on the bench and told him he was on time out. I told him that he didn't listen to me and that it was time to go home now. He started trying to get off. I picked him up and sat him on my lap. He then wiggled around, stood up, looked at me and smacked me on the side of my face. I told him NO, we DO NOT hit. I picked him up and put him in his stroller. He didn't throw a fit after that. But I had no more discipline at that point. How am I supposed to get through to him that hitting is not ok. It's not the first time, but usually he gets time out. He was already on time out. So how do you discipline a 2 year old and get them to listen to you? How long should a timed time out be? Should I have him count to ten (since he has recently learned how to do that) and then say sorry? Will he sit still on a chair? Will he associate timeout on a kitchen chair with eating and throw a bigger fit about eating? Man, I have a lot to learn about kids before I have my own! If you have any suggestions they would be much appreciated!


  1. Have a set time for the time out. For instance, 1 minute for each year he is old. Or we tell our kids they can come out when they are ready to be pleasant, of course it depends on the offense. If he keeps getting out of his time out before times up, just keep putting him back. Don't talk to him, just keep putting him back and start the timer over. This is exhausting but they learn pretty quick that they aren't getting out of it. If he breaks a rule that he already knows, such as hitting, there's no counting to three, you pick him up and put him somewhere. It's a little more difficult in a public place but find somewhere where he can cool off, his stroller for example works. I have put my kids up against trees, poles, fire hydrants, etc. Whatever you do be consistant, always consistant, that is the key and the hardest thing to do. Lucky for you you get to screw up someone else's kid before you get yours, some of us aren't that lucky. Take it easy, he's still just two and he's acting his age, he's learning to be human, it's hard work.

  2. Great advice Stacey. The thing to remember is trying not to show anger and keeping cool while disciplining. Learn how on Wesley and you'll be a pro with your own children.