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Hi MoMs! I just have a question I’m hoping you can ask other mums answers for….. I swear the ‘terrible 2’s has come early for my 14 month old! I’m just wondering when is the right age or good time to start introducing consequences for naughty behaviour. Also, what is the most appropriate way to do this? What have mums out there had success with?? Has anyone had the terrible two’s come early? Thanks!

Posted by Belinda 10.12.2012


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  • My first skipped them completely. My second started around two and hasn’t stopped!


  • Nah, I thought is was the terrible three’s !


  • You have to tell them NO the first time they do something wrong. It is no good letting them do things then deciding some time later that you aren’t allowing it any more. You have to be consistent and you need to tell others who mind and/or see your child a lot what is expected that is not acceptable under any circumstances. If your child goes to childcare I am sure they will be very willing to tell you what ther rules are; and what phrases they use in different situations. We found using the same ones wasn’t confusing our little ones at all, whereas other parents who even themselves used different phrases/words seemed to have confused kids in those situations.
    We have a naughty corner, even when he was about 16 months old when he started kicking. Nothing worked before that, Saying no, distraction and a few other things age suitable. He soon learnt when he has told no, put in the naughty corner on a mat ( floors in modern houses are cold to sit on) and told why he was put in the naughty corner. He was only left there for 2 or 3 minutes at that stage but he soon realised that if he did it again, he was back in the naughty corner. He is now 3 and still put in the corner if he persists with behavious he knows is not allowed. We always explain to him why something done is not allowed, he is warned on a 2nd occasion then the corner is used. His Auntie laughed to herself a few weeks ago when she was at our house and he did something he knows he is not allowed to do. He went and sat in the corner. When I asked him why he was there his reply was “I was naughty”. She knows to stop him doing naughty things behind my back and I thought she must have caught him doing something. No wonder she had to walk out of the room so she could laugh without him hearing. The sad look on his face got the better of her. He gets a cheeky expression on his face sometimes too. If you are him if he is being cheeky then he will say yes and laugh. He won’t tell you what he is thinking about though. Surprisingly, if you know he has done something naughty, if you ask him if he did it he will say yes. Can’t get over that!! I wonder how long that will last.


  • terrible 2 ha terrible 3 I say


  • teach him to say drink, hungry etc. listen and work it out. distraction won’t work forever


  • haha yep, around the 18 month mark… although my kids got a bit better after two, and then back to ‘terrible twos’ just before they turned 3


  • I’m not sure about the terrible two… I found it was the age of three for both my boys. It is just a phase that they will go out of but there has to be consequences for bad behaviour as long as its age appropriate I would have thought


  • The first time my son had a turn I could not believe it, hopefully it will not last long. Tell him its not acceptable behaviour. Distract him when he plays up.


  • I would use a few things, like distracting them with something else, ignoring tantrums (leaving the room) a little soft smack on the hand and the word NO. I had the same problem, they were naughty at 1, good at 2 and a little devil at 3. All good then till they started school and learnt lots of really bad stuff. lol


  • Not too early at all! My girl started tantrums at 10 months! Key is to focus on what is the cause of tantrums, which I find is usually frustration, boredom or tired, or all three! Solving this cause is far more effective than punishment. Distraction works wonders too when they are exploring something dangerous like power points etc.


  • Never too early as long as the consequences match the age. I would definitely be starting now if yoy haven’t already. Otherwise that terrible two stage will be worse than ever.


  • As soon as a child is able to be naughty then there needs to be consequences or you will create major confusion if you sail along saying oh hes too young but when hes 3 years and 4 months then i will start…lol
    Start as you mean to go on my Gran always said and its a very good piece of advice


  • With my daughters they went through a naughty stage around 3 year of age.


  • Terrible two’s can last a lot longer than just 2.


  • Hope its going well for you!


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