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How do I discipline a 20 month old

(13 Posts)
tryingtobemarypoppins Thu 06-Aug-09 19:11:01

He doesn't respond to NO and time out isn't working! Help!

HumphreyCobbler Thu 06-Aug-09 19:12:49

He is too young for time out. I would distract and remove rather than discipline.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Thu 06-Aug-09 19:17:42

Just keep on saying 'no' - it might should sink in at some point. Alongside distraction and removing.

tryingtobemarypoppins Thu 06-Aug-09 19:30:35

Its getting tough as the no leads to a trantrum, he is so strong too! He seems totally obsessed with plug sockets and tv's at the moment!

jemart Thu 06-Aug-09 19:31:11

I never really managed to effectively discipline my DC at that age. Keep telling them NO and doing the time out but don't stress over it too much. Sometimes it is easier to just intervene, distract them and move on to some other activity.

HeadFairy Thu 06-Aug-09 19:32:09

I think at this age the only thing they understand is physically removing them from whatever they're doing (along with a firm no). If he's sticking his fingers in the plug or something pick him up and take him away from it, then distract with favourite toy etc.

completelyshotpelvicfloor Thu 06-Aug-09 20:52:05

Remove hand. Say no. Shake head. Look sad. Say "you are making mummy sad". Walk away. Repeat ad nauseam. Works after about the twentieth time....

domesticslattern Thu 06-Aug-09 21:17:46

I copied something which I saw a friend do, which works quite well. She says "no" about minor things, but if it is dangerous she says "absolutely not" in a different tone of voice. Then her kids know she really means it. If you save "absolutely not" for when you really need it, and try to ignore some of the more minor things, it might have more of an effect than "no" "no" "no" all the time. And distaction/ repetition, as others say.

My 20 month old would laugh in my face at time out. grin

MrsBadger Thu 06-Aug-09 21:50:25

I do it the other way round - say 'bottom down' 'closed please' 'Put it down now' 'not in your mouth' etc as appropriate and save NO for emergencies or danger

as mentioned on another thread today (AIBU for shouting NO at my 13mo?) tell him what you would like him to do. eg 'DS can you sit nicely on the sofa and watch TV with teddy?' rather than 'Don't touch the TV!' ANd lots of praise for the good as well 'aren't you sitting nicely with teddy, well done!'

eg dd (23m) is a fan of yoghurt as finger food depsite being perfectly able to use a spoon. I am not.
So teatime tonight went
'dd please use your spoon'
'spoon please'
'are you using your spoon?'
'Oh well done DD, good spooning'
'ANd another one, well done'
'Good spooning there'
'Spoon please'
'Well done'

Not a NO in sight, though it is hard work

tryingtobemarypoppins Fri 07-Aug-09 10:24:59

Maybe I'm weak (I am actually, still throwing up all day everyday at 12 weeks pregnant) but its such a great deal of energy. How am I ever going to cope with 2!?

I like the absolutely not idea. After 20 times of saying 'no' stop touching the plug socket and distraction etc wouldyou then do the absolutely not and remove him?

FaintlyMacabre Fri 07-Aug-09 10:33:24

Agree with MrsBadger about saying what you would like them to do rather than what you wouldn't. Leaves me in a better mood as well.

Another thing to try is to find something else to do which is similar to the forbidden activity, but safer/cleaner.

e.g DS was playing with his sand table the other day and throwing the sand on the floor. Rather than just tell him not to/remove him, I put the lid within reach and told him he could throw sand onto that, and nowhere else. He was quite happy with this solution. Of course, if he had continued to throw sand on the ground I would have gone down the NO!/removal route but there was no need.

MrsBadger Fri 07-Aug-09 10:57:40

IMO (and indeed IME) the 'absolutely not!' (or in my case the 'NO!') isn't a further resort after the usual stuff has failed, it's for different situations - hitting, running across roads, child about to go headfirst down stairs.

think of something else for him to do, pref in another room away from said socket, even if it's helping you wash up

or if there is nothing more appealing elsewhere leave the room with him anyway and go somewhere boring with the reasoning 'But DS, I asked you nicely to stop playing with the socket, and you kept on doing it, so we can't stay in here any more, we have to sit in the kitchen' (or wherever)

I do this with the tv - 'But dd you fiddled with the buttons, so the TV goes off'

NB if you do this you must carry it through, at least temporarily. Do not be swayed by howling. But after 10min if he says (calmly and reasonably) 'more tv?' you can say 'yes more tv but no fiddling'

domesticslattern Fri 07-Aug-09 17:58:03

Yes, it's as Mrs Badger says, I save 'absolutely not' for the things I really really don't want her to do. Like plug sockets but not like fidding with TV buttons. It isn't something that 'no' turns into. I like the ideas on this thread about saying what you would like them to do instead.

TBH I try to say 'no' as little as possible and not to sweat the small stuff. I heard somewhere that when they miked up a bunch of toddlers and listened back to what was said to them, the toddlers were told 'no' about 20 times (i exaggerate but can't remember the exact number) more than they got praised or told 'yes'. It can turn into such a pointless word which they quickly learn to ignore.

That is why when she gets an 'absolutely not' she is normally terrified and stops what she is doing instantly. grin

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