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Ideas on how to discipline toddler in public

(17 Posts)
Giggle78 Fri 10-May-13 16:38:16


My ds 2 years 10 months is very sweet. Helpful, generally gorgeous. He does have a temper.. At home we have a very structured way of dealing with misbehaviour. (And rewards too with stars and jelly babies but that is another story).

It goes: On the bottom stair, "No hitting mummy" (or whatever it was), say sorry, hug.

If it escalates - into his room. Repeat until he says sorry and we hug.

Now he has just started screaming and hitting me really hard in public. Its mostly in shops when he wants to go one way and I want to go to another.

I just don't know what to do. I get down on his level and tell him no firmly. And then just pick him up and try and ignore it. I must look so pathetic being beaten around the face by a 2 year old. Then at home I said no programmes because he was hitting me and screaming at the shop. (more screaming).

I think that the punishment needs to be more immediate in the shop. But I can't leave him anywhere!!!

I would really appreciate some ideas of how to deal with being hit and screamed at in public.

Many thanks, Giggle

CheerfulYank Fri 10-May-13 16:41:07

Could you leave and go home? I know it's hard when you have shopping to do.

Pendipidy Fri 10-May-13 16:43:57

Why would that be a punishment to a 2 year old? He prob wants to go home !

I have a screamer if he doesn't get his way. I don't know what to do apart from put him in pushchair and carry on! Sorry, not much help!

Giggle78 Fri 10-May-13 16:49:15

Well that's what I did in the supermarket yesterday. I picked him and walked out (luckily the screaming started at before I had really started).

I guess for a while containment (in a pushchair, trolley) is probably the way to go.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 10-May-13 16:53:44

Tbh toddlers screaming don't make me bat an eye lid. I just think poor mum. I've got a 2yr old too. Often it's there but the grace of god....

Generally I loudly say when we get home no tv or some such. Or even use a very threatening tone in her ear quietly. (Think John malcovich type creepy) and then ignore. Assuming its not something we can leave over.

I agree with other poster, often leaving is desired result. Try avoid that.

NumTumDeDum Fri 10-May-13 16:54:04

So basically you use the naughty step/time out method. I'd get a small mat that you can fold up and take with you. A. You then have the naughty spot wherever you are and b. it's more obvious to passers by that you are disciplining in a calm way. That kind of helps you when you are harassed, embarassed and struggling to maintain calm. I have developed quite a thick skin since dd turned 2. She is now 4 nearly 5 and every now and then will still tantrum.

claraschu Fri 10-May-13 16:58:27

I think at this age I would try to deflect and distract. I would try to humour him in shops to some extent: give him little fun jobs, take a minute to go his way, stop for a little joke, etc. I'm not saying that you should start bribing him and giving in to his demands, just try to anticipate his melt-down moments and deflect them before they happen if possible.

It's impossible to reason with a 2 year old, and it is unhelpful to set up a power struggle. I would let him "save face" and feel like he is getting his way. Try to outsmart him.

ChunkyPickle Fri 10-May-13 17:06:13

By the time mine (DS, same age) gets to beating me it's time to go home because he's reached his limit - there's almost nothing I can really do that will permanently fix the situation, I can often distract him for a couple of minutes, but it's all going to go downhill soon

I used to pick him up (sideways, like a plank) kicking and screaming and just pay and head home (and I never had rolled eyes, just sympathy) - now he's too heavy, so I hoist him up on my shoulders (being beaten about the head and neck.. really hard) then grab his hands and refuse to let go until we're home - at which point there will be tears and tantrums until he falls asleep (without fail).

I have no better solution - a tired 2 year old just can't be reasoned with.

minkembra Fri 10-May-13 17:10:46

i used to put the twins on the trolley seat and give them a packet of raisins or crisps and shop before they finished them.

shops are noisy stressful boring places so I think expect bad behaviour and distract.

if they started hitting my hand etc. whilst in the trolley i just stepped back from it until they stopped.

my other emergency distractor is sheets pf bubble wrap. they can pop while you shop.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 10-May-13 17:12:07

Agreed chunky. Often mine is worst behaved if hungry/thirsty. Try those first. Distract/deflect works much of the time. Different every time too.

NumTumDeDum Fri 10-May-13 17:13:42

Admittedly my 2yo was nearly 3 when we started the naughtystep/time out. But it did work.

Giggle78 Fri 10-May-13 17:14:04

These are all great ideas - thank you.

You know when you just can't think of anything new. This is all really helpful. I definitely need to be more prepared.

CheerfulYank Fri 10-May-13 17:14:50

I just suggested it because DS hated leaving the shops at that age smile

invicta Fri 10-May-13 17:15:15

My child had a tantrum in a supermarket. I was stubborn a let him scream and shout, and watched from a safe distance. I didn't give in to his demands, as that would have been the easy way out.

CheerfulYank Fri 10-May-13 17:15:50

I used to let him pick a little treat at the end of the trip and he knew he wouldn't get one if we left.

VodkaRevelation Fri 10-May-13 17:25:24

My son is 20 months but still prone to the occassional mega-strop. If he isn't in his buggy I put him in it and then push him which calms him down. You maybe don't have that option with an older child. I also chat away to him in an extra cheery manner which has no effect on him but keeps me less near the edge!

The main thing I wanted to say is you definitely don't look pathetic. When I see other mums with tantruming toddlers I give them a sympathetic smile and feel their pain. It's the mums who shout "What's wrong with you? Shut the fuck up!" who I judge (sorry but I do!).

brettgirl2 Fri 10-May-13 17:34:34

Let him take a toy out with him. If he misbehaves take it off him. Use the go home thing (and do it) if you are somewhere he does want to be. Plus bribery. It is hard to be consistent when you are out and about but there are a few ways to get through.

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