how to discipline a 2 yearr old when naughty steps don't work?

(8 Posts)
MamaChocoholic Fri 01-Feb-13 06:10:15

Dt1 is 2 and very stubborn. She isn't very naughty, but will try and wind her brothers up by grabbing their toys and running off. More generally, her most frustrating behaviour is a complete refusal to do what is asked, eg help tidy up, leave the bathroom after 10 minutes on a potty. (I can't leave her in there on her own, and I can't leave dt2 downstairs on his own for long as both have a thing for climbing stuff they shouldn't).

Yesterday at nursery she bit a member of staff, which is unusual, and refused to say sorry even after iI arrived. Naughty steps don't work, she will happily stay there as long as required, but come out and do the same thing. What alternatives can I try?

I do think this relates to being a twin, her behaviour is completely different when dt2 isn't about, but that's quite rare. They can play well together but are also very comoetitive about things like sitting on me. We try very hard to praise the good behaviour, but ultimately if one hits the other over the head they know that's going to get my attention when cooking dinner faster than sitting quietly!

Iggly Fri 01-Feb-13 08:52:00

Well she's 2 so naughty steps don't really work anyway IMO.

If they have to compete for affection, is there a way to give both affection eg tickle both of them, put both next to you and cuddle in bed for stories etc?

Also if you're doing something eg cooking, can you set them up with toys or drawing at the table? Every minute go over and say "good drawing, good playing etc etc" to keep it up.

Can you let some things go like the tidying? So you tidy and let them help as opposed to expect them to tidy themselves. I've found that worked better with ds as he'd copy me - now he's a bit older (3), he'll tidy himself provided he knows where things should go.

If she grabs toys - can you teach the brothers how to manage it? So they give her a different toy?

And ignore her behaviour. If she hits, then say no hitting and just move her away. No engagement just sit her somewhere else. She am get up and if she comes back and plays nicely that's fine. If not move her again. That's what worked with ds when he was a similar age and very jealous of his sister.

Also having twins must be tough - can you try the multiples board for advice?

matana Fri 01-Feb-13 17:11:16

If you find the answer please tell me!

I agree that naughty steps don't work at that age. I keep trying 'time outs' with DS who is 2.2 - but only when he gets aggressive and hits/ bites others. It has no impact. He stays there, but to him it's a game - sometimes he'll even sit himself there.

Consistency and perseverence in whatever you choose to do will eventually, one day soon, pay dividends. Many people swear by just ignoring the bad, praising the good.

MamaChocoholic Fri 01-Feb-13 21:45:09

Thanks for the replies.

I do try to give affection to both, but they each want to have me to the exclusion of the other. If we watch TV, they don't want to sit one on each of my legs, but be in the centre of my lap and have the other next to me. Unfortunately this extend to toys, so if dt1 takes a toy dt2 is playing with, he is bereft without it, and she takes it mostly (I think) not because she wants it but to get this reaction. dt2 does it too, but he will give it back when asked.

Tidying, yes, it is something we all do together, but do you mean if dt2 helps and dt1 doesn't, I should just let it go? Isn't that unfair on dt2? [clueless].

Ignoring the behaviour and just moving her away, I suspect would be like a game to her. When trying to get her to stay in bed, if I did this putting her back into bed every time she got out, she found it hilarious and would keep jumping back out. In the end, what works with bedtime is that I leave them room if there is bad behaviour.

It's a good idea to give them something to do when I cook etc. As long as they aren't tired it should work. They slept better last night, which meant much better behaviour today. I need to remember too to give them a break when I know they're most tired (although this is, of course, when I am most tired too!)

SavoirFaire Fri 01-Feb-13 21:47:19

Try reading 1-2-3 Magic. Has been brilliant for my very very stubborn DS. We do now use naughty step very occasionally but only since over 3. Before that he wouldn't sit there for a second. Playful parenting is also good for that age I seem to remember, in fact I should probably re read.

Iggly Fri 01-Feb-13 21:52:25

Walk away then if she messes about and treats it like a game and take the other dc with you.

If the other twin tidies up and she doesn't just ignore her yes. And give your other twin a bit of praise for tidying. Don't do it while looking at your dd (you don't want to play them off against each other), just a thank you for doing good tidying and a cuddle. Dd will see then what happens if she helps. Then if she does even one bit of tidying, then give her a massive cuddle and praise. So she learns that way.

As for sharing you - make them take turns? So say "one book for dd", on your lap and tell ds his turn is next. Focus on dd, big cuddles etc. then warning just before it's finished that it's DS's turn. Another warning then swap over. I'm sure it won't go smoothly at first but getting them to take turns means they'll get used to it.

I also wonder if you're a bit harder on your dd and it's escalated a bit? Apparently mothers are on the whole harder on their daughters without realising - in your posts you brush over your DS's transgressions a bit... Just a thought. Wondered if you treated some of hisbehaviour as being because he's a boy? A bit of a leap but something to think about.

MamaChocoholic Fri 01-Feb-13 22:20:19

Iggly, it's a good point about treating them differently. I suspect I do, but perhaps not as you think. I struggled to bond with dt2 at all until he turned 1. He was an incredibly needy baby, some days I literally held him 24 hours at a time (co-slept with him on my chest). He has also seemed (to me, perhaps in my head) very aggressive whereas dt1 has been more gentle. But disciplining him is quite straightforward. He loves to please and always wants to help. He is obviously upset just to be told off and, now he is a bit older, he learns from consequences. He is though, I would say, naughtier and more manipulative than dt1, although my dp would say the opposite!

My issue with dt1 is not so much her behaviour, which isn't really very bad, but my complete inability to influence it, and, I suppose, a fear that if she can be this defiant age 2, how on earth will I cope when she's older?

Iggly Fri 01-Feb-13 22:26:44

Maybe it's just finding what works for her. What does she respond to? U suspect ignoring the bad and maybe building in special time for her? So if your ds is happily playing will dd come and help you with cooking for example? (help in the loosest sense grin) does she like getting out? Take her to the park at the weekend, just her and do what she likes doing.

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