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How do you discipline a toddler with little comprehension?

(35 Posts)
peckarollover Wed 25-May-05 13:53:58

I cant remember what to do at this stage?

DS has recently gone from gorgeous, placid, happy boy to full on toddler angst.

He is 2 in September so still quite little but very forceful, wilful and errr a bit wild really.

I cant remember how you deal with bad behaviour when they dont understand concept of threats, consequences etc etc

colditz Wed 25-May-05 13:56:23

I removed my son to the step, and said no, walked off and left him there. Even if they don't understand why you do it to them, it will soon sink in that when they behave in a particular way, all fun will cease!

fastasleep Wed 25-May-05 13:59:36

When DS (15 months) does something naughty we take the hand he did the naughty thing with, give it a tap and say 'NO.' very forecefully....or just say 'NO.' and look very stern and keep doing it and ignoring him completely until he stops doing it and stops acting up...and then give him lots of praise for being a good boy again... after all that though it only works sometimes lol

Nemo1977 Wed 25-May-05 14:04:45

I use time out with my son. He is 19mths and when he is naughty then we tell him xxx was naughty and because of that he is going into time out. We then leave him for a min and go back and say u were here because of xxx. He seems to understand and he also calms down and stops whatever it was. We did try the tapping the hand but found all that happened was he wanted to hit back so we were teaching him a negative behaviour.

Twiglett Wed 25-May-05 14:07:46

time out for 2 mins on a step

Lucycat Wed 25-May-05 14:12:27

I know what you mean about not remembering how to deal with toddlers! dd1 was a placid little angel, who had fantastic self control and has always been utterly reasonable. Dd2 is a whirlwind!!

She has just stopped the slapping thing (just 2yrs)- we used the naughty step, but she would just say 'sorry mummy' if she slapped dd1 and take herself there!! Kind of defeated the object!

get down close, hold both hands down and say no - not nice. Seems to work, keep it simple. Oh and good luck!!

serenity Wed 25-May-05 14:16:27

I tell DD No, and if that doesn't work I'll take away whatever it is she's hitting/destroying/bitting etc or take her away iyswim. So if she's drawing on the telly I'll say no, if she still does it I'll take the pencil away, and if she's still being a*sey I'll take her away from the TV and sit her in the middle of the floor by herself.

elibelly Wed 25-May-05 14:18:13

I'm having the same problem with my ds, also 2 in Sept, he seems to understand some things but not others, and he has delayed speech development so we have communication problems generally. He's taken to hitting his sister a lot, sometimes when she takes something that he was playing with but more often than not just because she's there. I haven't tried the naughty step thing, but removing him from the situation and ignoring him for a minute just seems to make him howl and when he gets over that he just goes back and hits her again Sorry to be no help but just wanted to say you're not alone

serenity Wed 25-May-05 14:21:35

For what it's worth I don't think they have to understand why they they shouldn't do something at this age, but they are old enough to know that 'No' means 'Stop what ever fun thing I'm doing as mummmy doesn't like it' DD is 2 in November btw, and definitely understands 'No', doesn't always take any notice mind you

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 14:31:27

For young children (and those with delayed language) its best to avoid the no word where possible. if you say 'don't climb on the chair" they hear "climb on the chair" - so its best to tell them what they should do "name- get down". Keep language very simple as well for any young child, or older child with language delays.

Telling him what to do, rather than what not to do is far more effective with my son (who is 6, non-verbal and has some challenging behaviours).

Flum Wed 25-May-05 14:51:24

Thats interesting Jimjams am keen not to become a NO mum.

peckarollover Wed 25-May-05 15:30:58

elibelly i relate - he has hearing problems and consequently speech problems so communication isnt great.

90% of my problem with him is when we are out of the home so bottom step and time out not as appropriate.

For example we have just taken him for lunch earlier and he just runs wild and screams when stopped - what then?

He is also battling over car seat etc and is very big and Im really quite struggling with it

motherinferior Wed 25-May-05 15:32:34

Jimjams, thank you. I'd never thought of it that way before.

peckarollover Wed 25-May-05 16:42:07

argghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

yoyo Wed 25-May-05 17:11:32

And what do you do when you've tried the step, shouted/not shouted, got down to their level and spoken in a deep voice, avoided "don't", taken objects away, praised the positive and ignored the negative? DS is not exceptionally badly behaved but I just can't find anything that works. I can deal with it up until about 4pm but after that I am just too exhausted and the older ones are home from school. He is 2y4m by the way.

Twiglett Wed 25-May-05 18:40:41

you do it again consistently

the thing with these techniques is over term they help lessen what is perceived by the adult world as 'bad behaviour' and they set limits

they are not going to turn a child into an angel

consistency is king HURRAH

Lonelymum Wed 25-May-05 18:48:52

If you can, try distraction. I find that works best and also is best for my temper!

Louise1970 Wed 25-May-05 19:01:38

I too have a son of 18 months. He seems to listern at home we he has been naughty but as soon as we are out. He will not listern to reason or no or distraction. We can not do time out or the naughty seat as he will never sit there/still unless we nailed him down. any suggestions?

peckarollover Wed 25-May-05 19:03:30

Louise1970 - thats excactly my problem. i dont have much problem at home but going out is becoming stressful because I find it hard to do time out etc out of the house with him

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 19:58:17

I think also you have to realise that every child is different- and using these techniques are the best bet for getting the best behaviour that child is capable of. For instance with these techniques we can usually "manage" ds1, but his behaviour remains challenging, other methods do nothing though.

Just to give some examples from this afternoon. Since getting home from school he has tried to run away down the street (physical force to stop), climbed on the fridge freezer ("name get down" - works much better than no- in that case he stays on top laughing), thrown cornflakes ("name pick up cornflake bin"), thrown flour (lost my temper shouted no, and he shrieked with laughter and did it again, and again until my mum dragged him off), hit his head repeatedly on the window (name get down" worked), hit his head repeatedly with his knee (my mum said "no" and he carried on), screamed because he wanted to eat sweets rather than dinner ("name chip then sweet"- did that then he ate his dinner). he's stripped a few time ("name toilet, get dressed". He's now up in his room (shut in behind 2 stairgates or he runs round the house like a mad thing) laughing his head off which means he's stripped and has weed in his bed. I'll change his bed and get him dressed when he's gone to sleep- if I go up there now i'll be a game.

Blimey no wonder I'm exhausted And that was a relatively in control evening (as he;s in bed before 8pm and we haven;t had too much screaming)

Anyway hope that demonstrates what I mean when I say these things are effective. They stop him continuing to misbehave, or turning the no word into a game. of course no may be more effective with older NT children as they have shame - my son has none. The only way we can stop bad behaviour before it happens is to physically make it impossible (eg the double stairgate to stop him shrieking round the house naked laughing his head off until 11pm).

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 20:00:30

Should add another method that works well with children with little comprehension is countdowns. So "last time, countdown then finished 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 , 4, 3, 2, 1 finished" works wonders.

charlie72 Wed 25-May-05 21:06:27

Hi everyone

This is my first visit to this website & I think its great - I'm a mum for the second time but with a 10 yr gap between my children, it really does feel like the first. All I can say about behaviour problems is that consistency really is the key. It might take some time but it really does work - trust me, my youngest had problems with going to bed, staying in bed, sleeping through the night, eating and those awful tantrums and now at 3 yrs is an absolute angel - almost makes me want to do it all over again!!!!!! My teenager on the other hand................

mummylonglegs Wed 25-May-05 21:50:19

Message deleted

Jimjams Wed 25-May-05 21:53:48

amazing how well it works mummylonglegs. My top 3 behaviour tips would be

a) tell the child what to do not what not to do
b)if comprehension is limited drastically reduce your language (until it sounds like you are talking to a dog, I just cringe when I see people giving ds1 long, kind, considerate explanations as he stands there grinning with no idea what they are saying)
c)countdowns.

Mind you I still have to physically drag ds1 in through the front door each day (whilst telling him what to do in simple language and counting down) My neighbours think I'm mad (in between ringing SS)

peckarollover Wed 25-May-05 21:57:41

How much comprehension can I expect from a 20 month old? albeit with hearing problems (glue ear, deaf up to 40 decibels apparently but i dont think its too bad some days)

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