I have absolutely no idea......

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by MichB, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. MichB

    MichB Well-Known Member

    Hi - I am a first time Mom, and I have come to realize that knowing how to discipline my toddlers is not instinctual (at least for me.) I am feeling lost with how to handle them throwing things, head-butting (my son has started this), throwing food, and now they have started having meltdowns when they want something & I say no. The only thing I have really tried is time outs and explaining why they were in a time out (doesn't seem to work as my kids think it is funny).

    I was raised in quite a strict environment and swore that I wouldn't be as strict as my parents were, but now it seems that I am starting to become the mom that lets her kids do anything they want. I need to find some kind of middle ground and have no idea how to get there.

    Anyway, sorry, long story short - I am wondering if anyone has any book suggestions that helped you with advice on raising toddlers and disciplining? Or some advice on this?

    thanks as always for your help!
  2. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    i found 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan really helpful. he recommends not starting the program until your children are 2, but i found the general ideas & principles helpful before hand too.

    i also know a few moms on here who have really liked Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster Cline & Jim Fay. i haven't read it myself, but it's on my list.

    finally, i also found The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp insightful (although i don't really follow his system per se).

    parenting toddlers is definitely tough. especially when they're at that stage where they're starting to understand that they're independent but lack an understanding of consequence. hang in there! don't be afraid to try different/new/creative things until you find what works for you and your kids. GL!
    1 person likes this.
  3. vharrison1969

    vharrison1969 Well-Known Member

    ITA with you that disciplining toddlers is not easy!! I always swore I wouldn't be one of "those" parents who "let" their kids run screaming through the bookstore, etc., but when I actually *had* kids I realized that sometimes you feel so helpless. They're such bundles of emotion, and there's no way to really control them!!

    The worst for me during the second year was the throwing (food, toys, anything they could get their hands on). Yelling did *not* work (they just laughed at me), and my guys didn't get the concept of timeouts. They would either scream and cry, or their brother would come and sit with them in solidarity. <_<

    I haven't read any parenting books, but I've done a lot of experimenting "in the field" so to speak ;), and read a lot of posts here from other parents.

    Here's what *didn't* work for me:
    Timeouts (my guys are weird, what can I say!)
    Threats that I wasn't actually going to follow through on
    Spanking (ok, I've never spanked the boys, but I've been sorely tempted some days!!)

    Here's what *has* worked:
    Staying calm *no matter what*. SOOOO difficult to do, but very effective.
    Telling them what to expect and what's going on, all day long. I've found that they're much more receptive to doing things when they know what's coming.
    Redirection, redirection, redirection!! If they're throwing a toy, I tell them to find a ball and throw that instead. I have a number of small soft Nerf-type balls and they're allowed to throw them in the house. Sometimes kids just need to throw things! :pardon:
    Telling them *exactly* what the punishment is going to be for an infraction. "If you throw food, your plate will be taken away". And always follow through.
    Have a plan to deal with hitting/biting/headbutting, etc. Mine is to make them say or sign "sorry" and give a kiss.
    Ignore or be matter-of-fact about melt-downs. The less attention I give to it, the quicker it's over.
    Parent the child you have. Sometimes what works for one, doesn't work for the other! Sometimes you have to find their currency, or throw all the rules out of the window when they're not working.

    Kids thrive on routine and predictability. That doesn't mean you have to be super strict, but they will test you constantly; find your line and stick to it, even though it seems like you're repeating yourself every.single.day. They will get it, I swear!!

    Good luck!! :hug:
    2 people like this.
  4. MichB

    MichB Well-Known Member

  5. MichB

    MichB Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for your responses to this. I really like the advice/suggestions and appreciate the book recommendations.

    My kids are strange too and don't respond to the time out....and that was the only discipline device I knew. LOL. Oh, and I hear you on the throwing. My son is terrible with that. Something he has started lately is really strange - he will tackle his sister then lie on top of her. Of course she screams her head off (he weighs 5lbs more than her), but I honestly can't tell if he thinks he is 'hugging' her or if he is actually being naughty. so in that case I don't even know whether disciplining is warranted. ha-ha.

    I am going to try these suggestions out and also get a book or two and see if I can get things under control. It is funny how many 'opinions' I had before I actually had kids. Now I'm the one that other women are judging at the store or wherever. Yikes.
  6. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I don't care what anyone says, parenting toddlers, especially twin toddlers, is one of the hardest jobs out there. They are unpredictable little bundles of emotion and energy, that are just as likely to give you a hug as they are to start screaming!!

    You got some good suggestions already, here's how we handle a few things around here.

    Throwing toys: I also redirect to a safe ball or a stuffed animal. Unless they are throwing it at another person. Then I take the toy away and it goes into "time-out". If they continue to throw things, I just keep taking things away, they eventually get the picture.

    Throwing food: I tell them if they continue to throw their food, I will take their plate away. And then do it. If they haven't eaten anything and are still hungry they will get upset, and I will explain to them that they need to eat their food nice, and not throw it. They are finally old enough to agree and then I give them their plate back. If they throw food again, the plate gets taken away for good, although if they didn't eat much I'll give them a banana or yogurt or something.

    Hitting: That gets a stern "NO! No hitting! Be nice!" Then we take their hands and stroke it gently on the other person's head, much like we've taught them to pet a dog. That took lots and lots of repetition. But now, when we say "Be nice!" they know to stroke the other person's head. Now, I've also added in "Give them a hug and a kiss." My dd is much more into that, she loves hugging and kissing, and my ds usually stands there like a statue. So we've been wrapping his arms around his sister for him and then he'll usually pat her on the back really quick.

    The head butting I would treat much like the hitting.

    Tantrums: Ignore, ignore, ignore. I try to give warnings, like "It's almost bedtime guys." Or "Almost time to go get your sister from school." I repeat it several times before it's actually time to do something. It helps get them ready to transition from one thing to another. But, my ds still throws tantrums often, I either walk away and ignore it if I have the time, or I'll just pick him up and carry him where I need him to be. He jumps up and down, stomps his feet, screams, and sometimes goes running into his bedroom like a teenager :lol: It's really kind of funny!

    Patience, and repetition, are your allies right now :) You can do this!!
    1 person likes this.
  7. vharrison1969

    vharrison1969 Well-Known Member

    More than anything, I've found that becoming a parent is an extremely humbling experience. :blush: Oh well, I guess it's good for the soul to admit that you were wrong! :laughing: Don't worry about the judging; everyone gets their turn to be humbled too. ;)

    Yes, I forgot the "toy time out"!! This was one of the best tools in my parenting "toolkit". If you throw it, hit with it, abuse it, it gets taken away. :good:
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