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(45 Posts)
threeangels Fri 05-Apr-02 20:37:49

I would suggest using the timeout method also. I have 3 children 12, 9, 17mos. For the two older ones I put a chair in a specific place in the house and left in the same place all the time. I used a child size one. After I gave my child two chances of warning for whatever the reason then I would resort to using the timeout chair. They hated to be isolated away from everything fun. 20 months is not too young to discipline. I do discipline my youngest with the timeout only for a minute though. He is still not totally sure about it yet. He is starting to get familiar. It is better to start this early. They may be hard to handle at this age now but at least they will know they have boundaries later. I hope this helps. Good Luck

colette Fri 10-May-02 21:02:20

I would like some suggestions as to how to discipline my 3year old daughter when she totally loses herself and pushes/shouts/ trys to hit me. She is generally well behaved but recently has started to behave like this. If I talk to her in a calm manner she talks over me and just appears to be caught up in a circle of worsening behaviour. I found myself giving her a smack tonight ( and even though it appeared to shock her into calming down) I don't want to continue to do this. I'm feeling very guilty and frustrated.
All the usual punishments such as putting in her room , threats etc. don't seem to work when she's like this because she is not listening and has totally lost herself in her tantrum . Any suggestions would be welcome as I thought we had got over the worst of her tantrums ( and when she was younger she didn't try and push/hit me.)

trudles Fri 10-May-02 21:56:44

my daughter is exactly the same shouts her demands I just say you if you shout Im still going say no. And she lies on the floor kicking and screaming I dont like to use threats or shout it doesnt work any way I just remove throwable objects out of her reach and make sure she cant hurt herself as sometimes shes throws herself on the kitchen floor I just pick her up and put her on the living room floor and leave her to it. I dont completely ignore her I just watch from a distance and keep going back to her and when she hasnt got an audience or the attention she wanted she gives up and starts playing with her toys.

Demented Fri 10-May-02 22:45:20

Colette and Trudles, is it just me or are the threes worse than the twos. My DS was three in January and the last couple of weeks his tantrums have taken on new dimensions. His answer to everything is either no or just sullenly shaking his head and folding his arms, his favourite phrase is "it's not fair". Today he threw an almightly tantrum in the town centre and deliberately tried to knock a woman's shopping out of her hand. I certainly go for more of the ignoring the bad behaviour and rewarding the good behaviour with attention. I try to remember to tell him what a good boy he is being when he is behaving, especially in shops etc. Can't say it is working miracles as the behaviour still rears its head, I can only hope that this is the tantrum phase peaking and hopefully things will get better from now on. All the best.

LiamsMum Fri 10-May-02 23:03:01

I could have written a couple of these posts myself over the last few days. My son is 22 months old and sometimes I just don't know how much discipline is acceptable for his age. We say "no" when he does something he's not supposed to do, and he's had an occasional slap on the hand for being naughty. He's also had a couple of time outs in his cot (only for a minute or so). Every now and again I try to teach him to pick up his toys when they're spread all over the floor. Last night I kept saying, "pick up your blocks", and he just whined and wouldn't do what I wanted. In the end he picked up a block and threw it across the floor. I was quite frustrated by this point and I put him in his room for a short "time out". He was crying and my husband said to me, "he's too young to expect him to pick up his toys." I think he was a bit angry that I disciplined our son in this way and then I felt terrible. I just don't know how much I should expect of him at his age. Is he too young, or is my husband underestimating what my toddler can/can't do yet? To make matters worse, when I pick up my son from my parent's place (if he's been there for a few hours or for the day) he cries when I put him in the car and doesn't seem to want to leave. I think my mother is starting to wonder why he does this and it makes me feel like my own son doesn't want to come home with me. It's been getting me down a bit lately, so I know what it feels like.

jenny2998 Fri 10-May-02 23:53:37

Liamsmum, my son (now 3 1/2) went through a stage like this. wanting to be with his grandparents and not me. it was particularly bad when i had dd. there were a couple of days where he barely spoke 2 me, but it passed. i know that isn't much help right now, but it will pass

My ds is going through a very wilfull stage right now...bless him! Favourite sentence right now: "Let I do what I want to" he gets so cross sometimes you just have to laugh at him, we all disolve into giggles and the situation is difused...other times it's not that easy...

thumper Sat 11-May-02 00:15:44

We are having a bad time with dd in the mornings. For the last three or so days trying to get her into shoes to go to the childminders who she loves has been a nightmare. 'I want shoes' so shoes go on, then 'No, i want trainers' , 'i want shoes, etc etc. It seems what she really wants is one trainer and one shoe! I think basically that they are just starting to realise that they can assert themselves and we have to bear with them in that although i felt like screaming and giving up this morning, and eventually just strapped on the trainers and left the room QUICKLY!

SofiaAmes Sat 11-May-02 10:11:16

Oh thumper, i empathise! My son (18 mo) went through a phase a few weeks ago where he screamed his head off like I was chopping off his feet when I tried to put his shoes on (my silly husband was actually convinced that I was hurting him). I took him barefoot (with shoes and socks in hand) to the childminder for a few days and then he completely forgot about it and started begging me to put his shoes and socks on.
Also, Liamsmum, I'm sure it's just a phase. At the moment my son is "daddy" everything. I've decided to take advantage and tell my husband "you'll have to feed him/change him/ dress him/play with him...he doesn't seem to want me" For example, today I am sitting in bed with my laptop having just been brought tea and toast while my husband plays with the kids who all want their daddy! Hee Hee

trudles Sat 11-May-02 20:46:04

talking about shoes I am having a nightmare with my daughters shoes at the moment. My problem is that she has a decent pair of clarkes shoes but she wont wear them because she prefers her cheap trainers with the flashing lights. She calls the her "sclub7 shoes "(and she's only 2 3/4). I worry because her trainers are synthetic and wont allow her feet to breath. I have tried a more assertive approach with her clarkes shoes but she takes them off and throws them accross the room. I took her back to clarkes, hoping that she may have had a growth spurt but she hadnt and they wouldnt let me buy another pair as " I am wasting my money "(isnt the customer always supposed to be right!!) but its already money down the drain If she wont wear them. So anyway I ended up buying a cheaper pair of canvas shoes and some sandals ( maybe Im just obsessed with buying shoes, she has more than me at the moment.

MandyD Sat 11-May-02 21:28:10

Oh yes, the shoe dramas! When my son was younger (he's 3 now) if he wouldn't put his shoes on when we left the flat I'd carry him downstairs, put him in the buggy and get his shoes on there!

I like to alternate his shoes every day, and as he's always been a fastidious child btw, I tell him that the pair he had on the day before are still wet (if weather appropriate), or sweaty, or dirty and need cleaning...usually works...

Trudles, did you know that Clarks do width fitted leather trainers that light up, might solve your problem!

trudles Sun 12-May-02 21:36:40

Im just worried that Im not doing her feet any good by letting wear trainers all the time. My freind at work said Her feet wont grow properly. And sometimes she just looks untidy wearing trainers, especialy when shes wearing a smart outfit. I feel a bit embarrassed especialy when all her little freinds from nursery are wearing clarks shoes.

lou33 Sun 12-May-02 22:50:49

Trudles my daughter is 10 now and has had a physiotherapist since she was 9 months old. Every physio has said that trainers are actually very good for feet as they are supportive and breathable, and usually have a built in arch which is also helpful. Hopefully this makes you feel better!

trudles Mon 13-May-02 15:54:49

Yes thanks lou33 I'll stop worrying so much now

Libby65 Mon 16-Dec-02 02:18:18

I've started this thread again because I am very confused about whether I am using the "time out" method correctly or whether I could be doing more harm than good.

My ds is 2.5 and I guess his behaviour is pretty typical of a toddler, he whinges/cries if he doesn't get his own way and he's quite active - the only time he stops moving is to sit down and watch a video. Occasionally though, he will scream and carry on to the point where I just pick him up and put him in his bedroom, and close the door. BUT, this is the part I'm not sure about - because he doesn't want to be in there, he immediately tries to get out and is capable of turning the handle and escaping, so I stand on the other side of the door and hold it closed so he can't get out. I leave him in there for a very short time (couple of minutes) and then open the door and tell him he can come out when he's calm. The thing I hate about it is that he sounds distressed about not being able to get out of his room and even though it's such a short time, I don't want to keep doing this if it's going to be harmful to him. He really cries when he's in there and when I let him out, he holds on to me tightly and wants me to hug him. Is he too young to be put in his room, and how do I get him to stay there if I don't keep the door closed? I know he won't stay there for a second if I just leave the door open.

I really don't want to make things worse but at the same time, I know he has to be disciplined. Am I worrying too much about my son's reaction? My husband's answer would be to give him a smack, but I guess I'm trying to find an alternative solution.

SueW Mon 16-Dec-02 10:50:15

Libby65, we used to do this with our daughter. I remember standing on the outside of the door, holding the handle with tears pouring down my face whilst my husband told me it was ok. I didn't want to smack and to me this was the best alternative solution but it was hard work doing it.

DH and I were talking about it recently and looking back, it seems that we must have done it for only a short period of time, maybe a month, before it was no longer necessary. It was tough at the time, but it seemed to produce results and get us through that difficult stage where they are hard to communicate with.

We would always have a big cuddle and talk when she came out, BTW.

Good luck.

Paula1 Mon 16-Dec-02 18:06:32

Libby65, something I read has stuck in my mind about the time out scenario, it suggested not to use the child's bedroom as the punishment place so that the child didn't associate their room with bad things, that could possibly lead to sleep problems. Could you try a different room, or a naughty stair for him to sit on?

Tinker Mon 16-Dec-02 19:09:16

I can relate to this one. The problem being that they wouldn't stay on a naughty stair/any other room either. Only consolation Libby65, is that they do seem to grow out of this phase

clucks Mon 16-Dec-02 23:30:18


I did this to my DS just once and ended up in tears myself and would never do it again. He was so terrified he was almost sick with sobbing and clung to me for ages. My Dh also thinks smacking is good (didn't sort him out though..)

I just tell him off now, a bit feebly, and invite him to apologise and make up. He still does naughty things but I'd rather deal with them in other ways. Just haven't found an effective one yet!

SofiaAmes Mon 16-Dec-02 23:35:22

I would like to try and understand what you feel the difference is between locking a child in a room while he tries desperately to get out and smacking a child. Personally I believe in smacking (very lightly and without inflicting pain), but wouldn't dream of locking my ds (25 mo.) in his room while he was screaming/crying hysterically. The latter seems much more traumatic to me. Perhaps this is because I am somewhat claustrophobic (sp?), but was brought up with smacking with no real hangups or issues about it. I am not trying to be controversial, I am just truly curious about how mothers who use different ways to discipline choose and rationalize those choices.

jasper Mon 16-Dec-02 23:58:31

I agree with sofiames that shutting your child in a room is more traumatic than smacking.
I once put my three year old son in a room by himself for about half a minute after he had been repeatedly naughty and he was so distressed he wet himself. I will never do it again and personally think it is realy cruel.However I totally appreciate the concerns many parents have over the idea of smacking.
The whole discipline thing is a really vexed topic isn't it?

Libby65 Tue 17-Dec-02 02:15:08

SofiaAmes, for a start I haven't been "locking" him in his room - I was asking my question in all sincerity because I am upset by the situation and the last thing I need is someone trying to make me feel worse. The advice I received was to put him in his room and close the door, and this is what I have done on a couple of occasions, and I will not be doing it anymore.

I have also tried putting him in his cot for a time-out, because I thought this would be less traumatic for him and I've heard that other people also do this. The couple of times I did it, I put him in his cot, left the light on and the door open, and he cried JUST as hysterically. Do you also think this is cruel?? The few times that ds has received a smack, it has hardly made any difference at all in deterring him from doing something. It seems that whatever form of discipline you choose, there will be someone out there condemning you for it.

I am not trying to hurt my son in any way, I love him and am simply trying to find a solution for times when his behaviour is out of control - and I would rather take some action than none at all.

tigermoth Tue 17-Dec-02 08:19:11

I worried that any punishment I inflicted on my young toddler sons would traumatise them - but then, ime, as soon as I went against any of their immediate wishes, tears tended to flow, so what can you do? distraction works up to a point but sometimes control is necessary.

I've done the time out in bedroom thing with both my sons - still do it. I didn't lock the door on them as toddlers even though I knew they could get out of their bedroom.

To me, the punishment factor is in being taken up to the room - removal from the cause of conflict and removal of my attention - not the time they spend in the room. I fully expected them to come downstairs in a minute.

For me time out wins over smacking ( which I have also done) because it gives me time to compose myself if I am getting uptight - sometimes I need a time out too!

jasper Tue 17-Dec-02 08:36:00

tigermoth you have given me an idea - next time I am going to lock myself in the loo for a couple of munutes
Libby noone is condemning you at all. I am sure we all think this is a difficult thing to get right and I know I haven't. The main reason I use the occasional smack with my son is that it does seem to work very well on him to get him to stop his bad behaviour and usually shortly after the smack he is much happier. However I am well aware it does not a bit of good for lots of children in terms of altering their behaviour, and that is before you even begin to go into whether smacking is itself cruel, teaching bad habits, etc.

Enid Tue 17-Dec-02 09:00:09

I have shut dd1 in her bedroom on occasion and its horrible because she hates it. Its the ultimate punishment but the threat of it usually works immediately. I tell her she can come out when shes calmer/ready to apologise to the cat/baby/mum - delete as applicable.

I have smacked her too, once, when I really really lost it with her and I felt so consumed with guilt ('Mummy! That really hurt!' ) that I will never, never do it again.

Sofia, I think the difference is that children have a certain amount of control over the situation when they are shut in their room. After all, they could get a toy out, look at a book or get into bed (which my dd1 has done) to comfort themselves. A smack takes any control away from them and is humiliating and IMO, demeaning. I also feel that a smack says more about my state of mind than hers, whereas the room threat is a genuine attempt at teaching that some things are just plain wrong.

mollipops Tue 17-Dec-02 09:01:25

Not a bad idea Jasper - I think it is the distance from mummy which is part of the key to the "time-out" thing. And you do need time to calm down yourself sometimes - which is of course the very heart of the problem with choosing smacking as discipline because in the heat of the moment it is easy to lose control and smack harder than you really wanted/needed to. IMHO, smacking might work in the short-term, but is not the solution long-term, and will certainly not help you when your child is a rebellious pre-teen!

You are right Libby, no matter which way you choose to go, there will always be someone with different ideas to bring you down about it or make you feel guilty. Basically you do what works for you and to blazes with what anyone else thinks. I think it is fine, as long as he knows there are consequences for his behaviour, and that you are consistent with what is wanted and unwanted behaviour, without going too far and doing it for every little thing, only the major things. You could try using time-out for repeated behaviours, if using the 1-2-3 and taking away priviledges (sp?) hasn't worked, ie no fave video, no walk to the park, no dessert. I have heard the not-using-their-room thing too, as Paula1 suggests, as they should think of their bedroom as a safe haven. Do you have a different room you could use instead, one that is "childproof" but fairly boring, like the laundry? Or you can use a chair or stair (PLEASE not a naughty chair/stair!!! The child isn't naughty, just the action! How about a thinking chair or quiet spot?) but they are harder work and you need to be tough to keep putting them back again and again every time they leave it.

You really are doing fine with what you are doing - sorry to go on but HTH.

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