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16 Answers

Upon reading and honestly answering a previous question regarding “smacking”, I’m looking for some effective ways to discipline my almost 2 and a half year old. She has a mean temper on her, and is at the stage of testing her limits. I admit to giving her a smack on occasion, and dont want to continue with this path of discipline. I was smacked as a child, and although i dont feel it effected me. I remember the terror, and i dont want this for my daughter. I also dont want to teach her that its ok to smack when you are pushed to your limiits. I have tried time out, being firm etc and she doesnt seem to respond. Any NON JUDGMENTAL advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!!


Posted anonymously, 31st December 2013


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  • I feel for u. It is so hard when u are being tested by a two year old. I always remember the adage, choose your battles. I let some things go. What I found works best for me is to say “We don’t do that.” If u do it again, I will have to take it away … and really follow through. I think the most important factor is the child needs to know u mean what u say. No point reasoning when they are having a meltdown. It will pass. Then give the child a hug and reassure them. The other thing that is really effective is a reward chart. Down the side u list the things u would like your child to do and have stickers for when they do these things. Be on the lookout for things your child does well and praise. After say 6-8 stickers for a particular thing, they get the reward, Rewards can be things u do together, like going to the park or a ride on a train. Try to concentrate on the things your little one does well and tell them lots of times that you love him or her. The other thing that works quite often is distraction. That can often stop something from escalating. Its not easy being a parent. I think consistency is the key. Also be kind to yourself and if u feel like your frustration is getting the better of u, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and have a few minutes for yourself. I am a Nana and have made many many mistakes over the years, so don’t be hard on yourself when the day seems so difficult. There will be other days that will be great. I am sure u are a terrific and caring Mum. Take care of yourself, too.


  • Unfortunatly no advice but I’m in the same situation with my son! It’s not easy!


  • Its about your energy and determination to keep up with her. By following through. Firm commands like youre not to hit. That hurts. If you do it again youre not going to play.
    Then its up to you to make sure she sits a few metres away for two minutes. Its about doung this if youve warned her.


  • Put her in her room with a baby gate across the door,


  • I believe in time out and then speaking to once they calm down. Make sure they understand why they were given time out.


  • I always tried redirecting the child from doing wrong. I usually saw what was about to happen and jumped on in. If the child is hurting someone firm NO THAT IS NOT GOOD. I would remove the child from the area. You must persist using this as the child get older. They catch on pretty quick when they are out and misbehave their outing is cut short. I would give one warning and then it was straight home. I said nothing to them on the drive/walk home. After a while I would remind them of what they did and say pity we had to leave because you did whatever. They catch on really fast. If the child is tired and not listening I would pop them in the bath with bubbles to change the mood. This help you to keep calm too. If you are out sometimes you have to cut the outing short if they are tired and emotional for every ones sake. Happy days are the key.


  • there are some good comments here


  • Very good question anger good to read the other advice. I haven’t tied timeout yet because I thought my two year old was too young but maybe it’s time to heed the advice


  • We tried time out in the laundry when our son was 4, the funny thing was that his 2 year old sister would slip him books to read, pencils etc under the door for him!


  • My sons around the same age, and he definitely knows what hes doing, he knows he’s not allowed to do it and does it to get a reaction, he even comes up to me and laughs, depending on the severity of the situation its either a smack on the hand, naughty chair or being put in his bed to have a sleep because he does act up when he’s tired.. Its the terrible twos at its worst but you have to be strong and make sure you remain the boss, because once she feels she has control she’ll never give it up lol! Good luck mumma, stay strong!


  • I don’t think a little smack when naughty is a bad thing. Maybe taking away something she likes when she, screams. Hope you get some ideas. I’ve got all this to look forward to. Good luck.


  • I personally believe a 2 year old does not really need discipline just simply redirection in my opinion they are too small to be doing anything wrong. 2 year olds misbehave because they are unable to express themselves properly as yet. good luck on whatever route you decide.


  • I too was bought up with smacks – my mother would use a wooden spoon. But I don’t believe that smacking or yelling at a child helps. Have you tried a rewards chart with her? Has worked with with my grand children who like to test their parents patience.


  • It is very hard for you and all you can do is continually tell her no and not give her things she enjoys, and when she is good then give them to her. eventually she will learn that being naughty doesn’t get you anything


  • I agree ignoring some children will calm them down and they see that their behaviour is useless. Make sure they are in a safe place where they cannot hurt themselves and leave them to calm down. Reinforce the fact that you wont listen to them while they’re behaving this way and of they calm down you can talk about why they are acting this way. You just have to stick with it they see the cracks and will quickly realise they can get away with it.


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