do you discipline 2 year olds? how?

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Lbarsamian, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Lbarsamian

    Lbarsamian Member

    Hi all,

    My boy/girl twins turned 2 in January. My son seems to just not listen. He's a sweet kid, but definitely extremely active and into everything - during his waking hours, he is on the move the entire time! I just want him to listen to me when I tell him to stop climbing, to eat his lunch, etc. My biggest pet peeve is when he throws things - his food on the floor when he doesn't want to eat, his toys when his sister takes something, his cup when its empty. I just want him to learn that he needs to listen to me because when we are in public, I want to be sure he doesn't just take off and not listen when I tell him to stay by me, etc. Do you have a similar situation? How do you enforce discipline? Have you done time outs - do they work at such a young age?

    I just feel like I have zero control sometimes. and then my daughter gets in on it when he "gets away" with things.

  2. Tamaralynn

    Tamaralynn Well-Known Member

    My boys turned 2 in Dec, so they are close in age to yours. I do time outs, and they do work. Rule of thumb is they are in time out for 1 min per how old they are, so no more then 2 mins. I remove anything that they throw. If they throw food, meal time is over, if they throw their cups, they are gone. They learn fast and will catch on. As for going out, I still use the stroller/cart at stores. I would in now way go out with them without them being contained. lol I do have a 4 yr old too so with the 3 I need to have the twins in something so it is easier for me. If I were to not use the stroller I would def use a harness though.
  3. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree. Time outs worked well for us (still do). Toy time outs worked really well - if a toy was thrown, used to hit someone, or being fought over excessively, the toy went into time out for 2 minutes. Time ins were also helpful - when it seemed like the girls were getting antsy, I'd stop what I was doing & spend 5 minutes with them (maybe reading a book, singing a song, chasing, tickling, etc). Sometimes they just wanted my undivided attention for a bit. When out & about I would let them out of the stroller but running away or other dangerous behavior was an automatic time out in the stroller. Repeated offenses resulted in having to stay in the stroller or going home. Talking about, explaining & being very clear on my expectations was also helpful - they don't always know how they're supposed to act. Also, consistency was huge. Repeat, repeat, repeat, ad nauseam.
    1 person likes this.
  4. E's 3

    E's 3 Well-Known Member

    My girls also just turned 2 in January so they are the same age as your two. I have started doing 1-2-3 Magic and have really liked it so far. It's working better with my 4 year old, lol, but the girls are starting to catch on. Throwing food/cups ends the meal. When we are out in public I keep the one who is more likely to run in the car seat until the end and then both girls MUST hold my hand...I have lightened up on this as they are listening better and on sidewalks I let them go but it busy places, parking lots etc they have to hold my hand. They are usually much better in public but I find the consistency at home helps keep them in line when we're out :). It's a tough age and having 2 of them makes it tougher but it's also more motivation to be incredibly consistent as that's what's going to help most in the long run.
  5. Twin nanny

    Twin nanny Well-Known Member

    I agree with what everyone else said. The only thing I'd add is, especially when asking something like stop climbing or come and get your shoes on, make sure you have his full attention before you give the instruction. That is go over close to him, get down to his level and get eye contact (if you absolutely have to talk to him from across the room then call his name until he turns to look at you), it's a bit of a faff but it makes a big difference. For one thing half the time young children get so involved in the task they're doing they might genuinely miss an instruction and for another it's quite easy to ignore someone calling across the room to you, it's a lot harder if they're right by you looking you in the face.
    1 person likes this.
  6. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    At what point after food/drink is thrown during a meal do you feed the kids? My girls hate table food and dinner time but love snacks (thanks, grandma!). They are underweight to begin with and mealtime has become hell. I want to just take the food and sippies away when they are tantruming, but my husband is worried about them eating. Also, if they get non "mealtime" foods afterwards, we're reinforcing the snacking > meals issue.
  7. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I do dinner at 6:15/6:30 and snack time around 7:30. If they don't eat much (either b/c they don't like it or are just being a PITA) I pick a more substantial snack like cheese and fruit v. some crackers.
  8. E's 3

    E's 3 Well-Known Member

    I personally keep the same eating schedule during the day. If they miss one they are usually pretty hungry for the next. I do not give extra meals or snacks if they miss a meal. I learnt this from dealing with my oldest, who is a very tiny 4 year old. I was in the same missing meals/snacking cycle and decided I had to end it when his sisters caught up to him in the weight department. It seems tough but if something gets thrown, they don't like what's for dinner/lunch/snack, whatever, they wait until the next meal. I used to feel really bad doing it at dinner but I have seen over and over again that they do not starve during the night and they do eat a very good breakfast the next morning :). This is one of the things that has finally worked with Dannik to get some weight on him (that and limiting his milk intake), he has just had a growth spurt over the last few months and now finally weighs more than his chunky monkey sisters :laughing:.
  9. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    This is what we do too, except for the stroller time-outs because we do not use a stroller much any more. We worked with them on holding our hands while they were learning to walk, i.e. when we were still quicker than they were and well able to carry two struggling toddlers home if necessary. So it sort of became automatic - we leave the house or the garden and they reach for my hands. Consistency is the key here. We live on a very busy street and we walk a lot and holding my hand is non-negotiable. Being allowed to walk without holding my hand is a privilege (except for places like the park), they ask for permission and any misbehaviour means losing that immediately.

    Doing time-ins before a situation runs out of control works really well for us.

    And make sure he gets enough exercise with the opportunity to throw balls, climb, run, shout etc. in a permitted and good way. I find our days always run much more smoothly when the children get exercise and fresh air in the morning after breakfast (regardless of the weather), and if possible again in the afternoon.

    We have fixed snack times, mid morning and after they wake up from their nap. I might move this up a bit if they are really hungry but not much. I usually offer only fruit or raw veggies in the morning, and fruit and occasionally a healthy home-baked treat in the afternoon. These are snack-foods which I am happy for them to fill up with if the last meal left them hungry. Usually, at the next meal they will eat well and make up for the other food groups. The only other food they get inbetween meals is if they are helping me bake or cook, when they may taste whatever we are preparing. Also, if we are not out of doors and having a picknick type of snack we have the same rules for snack time as for meals, e.g. no running around with the food, cups stay on the table, once you leave the table you are done with eating etc.
  10. Lbarsamian

    Lbarsamian Member

    Ok, I tried the time out thing but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. First, I give him a warning. then if he continues, I pick him up and put him at the bottom of the stair and tell him he gets a time out because he is not listening to mommy about "so and so". the problem is that this seems to exasperate the situation and he throws a tantrum even more and runs away or goes upstairs. I put him back to the step when he runs away and continue doing this until he calms down. This might be a while (back and forth). By they end, we are both exhausted. Is this how it should go? Also, I feel like I'm doing it all the time. Maybe I'm overusing the time out? What do you give a time out for? And I'm interested in how you do a time in? I'm really interested in how others are doing this.

    I also would take away the sippy or the plate if it was thrown from the table, but then it ends up that he doesn't eat. I almost feel like its being done so he doesn't have to eat.
  11. Twin nanny

    Twin nanny Well-Known Member

    I try to only do time-outs for big things (like hitting or biting), partly because I think natural consequences work better, partly because I think the time-outs have more impact that way and partly because I don't want to be going back and forth from time-out for every little thing.
    So if he was climbing on something that he's not allowed to climb on and didn't listen the first time he was told to stop I wouldn't give a time out for not listening. Instead I would go over to him, tell him again "No climbing on the ____" and physically remove him. If he tried to climb it again I would remove him from that room entirely or, if you can't, sit/stand so that I was blocking his access to it. In the meantime I would try and distract him with something else, if possible a similar activity to what he wanted to do-e.g "You can't climb on the table. Let's climb on the couch instead" said while moving him from table to couch.

    It's actually very helpful if you can give a positive command instead of a negative one or offer an acceptable alternative to the specific thing they are doing. For example; instead of "No standing on the chair" say "Bottom on the chair, feet on the floor please", instead of "Don't throw toys" say "If you want to play throwing you need to throw a ball. Shall we find one?", instead of "Stop hitting the window" say "We don't bang the window. Look you can bang on the chair or you can bang your drum". This takes quite a lot of effort (at least it does for me, it's much easier to say the negative than come up with a positive way of framing it), especially at first, but it does really help. With something like throwing his empty cup I would work on teaching him to say something like 'all done'. Try and catch him before he throws it-although you can still do it after he throws-and say "Are you finished? All done?" (encourage him to repeat it back) "Well done! Thank you, Mommy will take your cup now." Then you are showing him the behaviour and language you want to see in that situation.

    As far as taking his plate away letting him off eating I would not worry too much. As long as you don't let him fill up on snacks he will be more hungry and more likely to eat at the next meal. You could always keep the rejected food for an hour so that if he starts asking for food you can bring it out again. I would also keep him at the table until his sister/everyone else is done eating, that way he has the chance to change his mind and decide to eat something and it also means he can't just toss his food to get back to playing.
    2 people like this.
  12. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    For us, a time-in means that the child(or both of them together, depending on the situation) has my full attention for a fun activity. This is usually as simple as sitting on the couch, cuddling and reading a book together, or sitting on the floor together to do a puzzle or build something. It can also mean we sing a song together and dance. The important thing is that you are fully present to the child at this time in person and mentally (e.g. no answering the phone, no checking messages on the computer, no quick chores done while supervising the kids), so they feel they are the focus of your attention; we are all so busy it can be easy to be in the same room with our kids and still not really be with them - if you know what I mean. The other important thing is to pick an activity that suits the situation and that the child enjoys, e.g. perhaps no energetic wrestling just before bedtime even if the child enjoys it, but not doing a craft either if the child does not enjoy crafts or is not interested at that moment.
  13. 5280babies

    5280babies Well-Known Member

    Sorry if this is repeat - didn't read every response. We "take a break" (same meaning as time out) but key is they are sequestered to room away from the action (sister and mommy). They stay up 2-3 minutes and it is very effective. If I check and they are screaming they are not allowed to return until calm. This rarely happens but it is important because they must be collected to return and apologize (if they committed an offense like hitting, etc). The other key is to use this with consistency. It is a pain at first but it is important not to warn a million times - rather, follow through on what you say you are going to do. Lastly, for things like throwing plates at the table, that is a break from the table, rather than a break to their room. Because I want to eat my dinner hot and they have to learn to respect others. I don't get mad or upset, I am very nonchalant when disciplining. Love & Logic is a good read for this stuff. If you are consistent it will be effective.
  14. mommylaura

    mommylaura Well-Known Member

    My boy girl twins turned 2 in January. We've been doing time outs for a while now. I put them in the laundry room for 2 minutes. My girl twin almost never goes to time out but there are days when my boy twin goes in multiple times (most days he doesn't go at all, though). For us I only do time out for hitting and for following me around crying when I'm trying to cook dinner. If a toy is the issue, I typically time out the toy. Meal time is still a challenge. We review the rules before meal time, and they are starting to understand that they need to follow the rules to get a treat after dinner (my oldest gets a treat if he is good, so this was already in place). I do feel bad though because sometimes I think they don't understand why they didn't earn their treats.
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