Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How to discipline a two year old boy?


I have a two year old son who does not listen.  He hits his sister and pulls her hair.  He gets angry and lashes out by hitting or throwing what ever object is closest to him.  He continues to do everything he knows he is not supposed to it seems just to spite.  I know he knows that it is wrong because right before he does something naughty he asks if it is a no no.  I have tried time out and after two hours of constant struggle finally gave up.  Swatting on the bum does not work either.  He looks at me and says "ow"  then proceeds to do whatever prompted the spankings.  I have no idea what to do next.

What the Expert Says:
Parenting toddlers can be challenging as they push the limits to see what they can get away with.  It is a normal part of growing up, although it often makes us grind our teeth!
Sounds like you already tried time out and swatting the butt without any results.  Try positive reinforcement: reward your son with positive attention for good behaviors.  Most of the time children do not want to get in trouble with parents and if they get positive attention for doing something, they will be more likely to engage in the same behavior again.
Of course, "bad" or unaccepted behaviors must be followed by negative attention (negative reinforcement).  Continue time out, one minute per year of life, as a consequence for those behaviors that you do not approve of.  Make time out a place that is not fun.  That means, do not send your child to his room filled with toys.  Instead, make it a chair in the corner of the living room.  To help your toddler understand the length of time out, set a timer.  When it goes off, he can get up.  If he has a difficult time to sit in the time out, use the bear hug technique: have him sit in your lap for the duration of the time out.  If he fights you, embrace his arm with your arms, and legs with your legs.
Suggested readings:
Where do temper tantrums come from?
Practicing healthy discipline
Best regards.

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