My daughter is 16 months old & will not listen to me when she’s doing wrong. On a daily basis particularly, she pours her drink out where ever she can. I point & tell her “No, thats naughty, no” but she gives no expressions. It’s so frustrating. How do I make her listen & stop? Do you have any discipline tips for toddlers?

Posted by anon, 26/08/13

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  • I agree that she might not have yet connected this with being a naughty thing to do. Try and avoid the situation -perhaps a beaker with a lid, or a bottle. She should be drinking water – not soft drinks, juices, flavoured milks etc. so spills aren’t the end of the world. Also if this is something that really gets a reaction from you then you add interest for her, and she is likely to do it again to see if she gets the same reaction. Try ignoring it for a week or two, give her the beakers with lids and maybe the specific problem for you will go away.



  • The problem with trying to decide a discipline is that the choices are many and how they will work on your child may vary. But I am not certain you need to go to a discipline yet as I think the problem might be that your daughter has not made the connection yet between what she is doing and understanding what ‘naughty’ is, or that pouring out the drink is a bad thing to do and why? That is what you are trying to teach her by saying “no, that’s naughty”; however it is possible she may not have connected the action of pouring out her drink as being a bad thing to do. Sometimes the quickest way to help a child make the connection is for them to see how the action they are doing can affect them. So when she pours out the next drink, you need to have a glass of water ready and pour it out on her. She will get wet and see it is not a nice thing to do. That may help her make the connection.

    It is extremely possible she is repeating the action because it is getting a reaction from you. She may or may not know yet that those reactions have a consequence to them. Children love to get reactions, especially from their parents and until she begins to really understand that when you say ‘naughty’ that it means she needs to stop whatever it is she is doing, she might just be enjoying the reaction. Therefore you will have to start to give a consequence after you have said the word ‘naughty’ once. So if after you try pouring water on her to show her is it not a good thing doesn’t work then yes it might be time to give a consequence.

    What to pick as a consequence is the hardest part of this question but this is also where you really have to know your child. Time outs really bothered my one son because he hated to sit still. So for him that was the best solution. For my daughter she loves approval, so knowing she disappointed me was usually enough. My other daughter hated to be sent some where waiting for the punishment. Whatever the punishment entailed was never as bad for her as the waiting to find out what the punishment was. My oldest son was my hardest to figure out, probably because he was my first. But I did eventually figure out he loved to spend time with me, so that is what I would take away from him as a consequence.

    I have lots more tips and ideas of other ways to discipline so please feel free to contact me any time, however please ensure your child knows that what they are doing is not good behavior first, before you ever decide to discipline.



  • All toddlers are the same you just need to stay strong and keep saying NO it will all work out hun it’s hard but it will get better.



  • One word. SuperNanny! The best thing that has ever happened to me is that women. Watch her show and you will pick up on some awesome tips to help in nearly every situation. Good luck.



  • How is she going? Has any advice helped?



  • I must have a stern voice because I say ‘no, naughty girl’ and my little one frowns and cries. When she is doing good things I always say ‘good girl, well done’ and she beams a huge smile at me.



  • how are you going now?



  • Hope you managed to find some ideas that have helped.



  • How are you going now?



  • What did you end up doing?



  • Some great advice below – hope it has helped.



  • I give my child a stern “NO” and or sit in the naughty corner for a couple of minutes



  • A very stern no. Maybe a timeout corner might work.



  • Wanted to know aswell, thanks for posting.



  • Time out mat and also a smack with two to fingers on her hand won’t hurt her. I also hold my hand put and smack it and tell my miss two no


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