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what age do you discipline...

(4 Posts)
frenchisbest Mon 26-Sep-11 15:46:07

Sound stupid but i really dont know... Just wondering, when and how do you start discipline children, my 20 month old DD can be a angel most of the time and a real evil some of the time, full tantrum in shop, home, anywhere. Could be because she doesn't want to go in buggy or hold my hand or she wants to play with something... the list is endless... And what should i do if she doesn't want to listen clear instruction, like don't touch and does it anyway.. She also does recognise the word no sometime but usually choose to ignore it and find it really funny to hit anyone... not the best thing with a 2 months old in toe... Any tips would be brillant as I say she is usually a good girl, I am just a a lost when she is not...

menopausemum Mon 26-Sep-11 16:19:33

I think at this age your main 'weapons' are praise and distraction. When she is doing the things you want, tell her what a good girl she is, hug her, smile at her etc, particularly when it's the opposite of the things that are worrying you e.g. being kind to the baby rather than trying to hit it. When she ignores your instructions I would either make her do it, if for e.g. if you've asked her to pick up something you can take her with you to do the task. Alternatively distract her, so if she wants to touch something and you've said no, then take her away from the situation so she can't do it again.
Try only saying 'no' if you can enforce it. So you can say 'no' if she tries to hit someone as you can stop her doing it/distract her but it's no good saying 'no' to her standing up in her cot as you can't make her do it and she learns she can do as she likes.
Think about what triggers the behaviour you don't like. Is she tired/jealous, hungry etc. If you know when she's likely to kick off you can get the distraction in first.
As regards the tantrum in a shop - if at all possible just stand and watch her (not if she's throwing stuff off the shelves of course) as the more you react to her behaviour, the more she learns how to control you. Therefore try loads of praise for good behaviour and with the bad, if possible ignore it, make her do whatever it is or distract her.
Remember she will be happier for having consistent boundaries. If you say no today then it has to be 'no' tomorrow.Sorry this is a long ramble, hope its of some use. I wish I had had the courage to ask for help when my eldest was still so young. Good Luck

frenchisbest Mon 26-Sep-11 22:30:21

Thank you, thank you... Will try all of it. She was tired today and we just had one of this day and felt it will last forever... Hopefully we both be happier during those time now.

meditrina Mon 26-Sep-11 22:44:36

Discipline comes from the same route as disciple, and at its root means learning. So I'd say you start as soon as you think your child Is able to learn. And by 20 months, she probably is.

Discipline is not a synonym for a punishment system, its about learning how to behave. It's very simple in theory - you reward good behaviour and sanction bad behaviour. So when she's being angelic, you have to remember to praise her and reward her. When she's demonic, you have to stop her (usually at this age, when you are so much bigger, by physically preventing the action - pick up, remove problematic item, etc), explain the problem (even if you're not sure she fully "gets" it) and distract whenever possible. Keep it specific, and immediate.

And good luck - this is a learning process, and she is still small with a lot of learning ahead of you both. Don't necessarily try to tackle everything at once. Keep sanctions as light as possible for as long as possible. And never forget to praise the good behaviour.

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