How do you discipline your toddler?

United States
March 4, 2009 9:02am CST
I have a three year old son who has a major anger problem right now. I have been around many children and have never seen one get so upset. I have tried everything: time out, taking things away, even spanking. Nothing is working. I have tried sitting down and talking with him after he calms down. That doesn't work either. His anger gets so bad sometimes that he will punch or smack me. I have resorted to sticking him in his room when he does this until he calms down so he won't hurt himself or anyone else. I don't know what else to do. I am sure he is just testing his ground as far as what he can get away with, but sometimes his outbursts are quite violent. My question is how do you discipline your toddler? He only throws these tantrums after he is scolded or sat down. I just don't know what else to do. Any help would be appreciated.
4 people like this
22 responses
@myralmedo (815)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
hi yourpassiondiva (nice username ;)) i have a toodler son too and same age as yours, as a parent- it's a very hard duty but i think a learning experience for me ;) i made all the stuff or techniques/strategies just to discipline my child and i know each child has their own characteristics to deal with, my way of discipline might or might not approve or work to your son and work to other kids. but don't worry i'll still share mine LOL :D i've tried also like what you did, we go to my son's room and talk things over i always tell him that am not mad at him am just mad on the bad behaviour he did- i know their escape goat or remedy on not scolding them is to cry out loud :D if that happens don't talk to him yet- just let the crying scene past and tell him if he's done then that's the time you will talk to him- if he's done then do the process always emphasize that mommy is not mad on him just the bad behaviour and next time we don't want to see or hear (whatever bad things he done). another strategy :D- am not used to spank my child am not agree or approve on that (though my mom used that on us LOL) i use another means of scolding him- it's either face the wall or i will just ignore him all the time. he graduated already on the face the wall- i've been a victim of this face the wall LOL my son caught me that i spill out the water unintentionally i said sorry then he told me "mee-mee (that's the way he calls me :D) dada (his daddy) will get mad the water spilled off on the floor.. now face the wall" i don't know what to do i'll just laugh and told his dada bout it hehe the other one- ignoring him it's like he doesn't exists- it works for me LOL everytime he did a bad thing and tantrums and all that- if i ask him to say sorry and he doesn't want i just ignore him and everytime he plead/ask for his milk i ignore him... minute after he'll come to me say sorry and tell that he will not do it again. :) disciplining our kids is not easy if one technique doesn't seem effective try a new one... and observe what's your child reaction- this one i've shared i just observe it to my child, read some magazines about parenting and from other experiences of co-mommies. and being a parent/mom most especially is a learning process, it's hard but fulfilling ;) hope this helps :) kisses to your lil angel!;) happy myLotting!;) Godabless!0=)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
additonal key words ;) understand them and being patient for all these behaviors that they are showing of. :D happy myLotting!:) Godabless!0=)
@Jae2619 (1484)
• United States
4 Mar 09
At this age it's very normal for the temper tantrums, they are leaving babyhood behind and learing to be a big kid, and it's hard to get a hold of feelings and emotions. The biggest thing is don't get angry when he's angry, that will only make him even madder. I know that's so hard to do when your child is pushing your last button, but try to remain as calm as you can. If you are very upset, take a breather yourself and put distance in between you and your child. On a day where you think you can talk with your child sit him down and tell him, hitting is a no no, and ask him how he likes it when he get's hit, or kicked? Tell him, that it hurts you when he does these things, and tell him that it can't happen no more. Try a reward chart, every day he is good he get's a sticker and then at the end of the week if he hasn't had no bad outburst, of hitting, kicking, punching, smacking, then he gets a good treat. Let him pick the treat, maybe this will teach two lessons in one. When my 6 year had anger outburst like this when he was younger, time out is what was called for. I didn't send him to his room, I put him in the hall way, facing the wall, if the fit kept going, he would sit there until he was calm, i would then approach him and ask if he was still mad, if the fit started again, he was put back in that same spot, over and over. Being very repetitive seemed to work with him. As all kids are gonna be different when it comes to being punished. Try all methods until you find one that works for your child, and for the most part, yes, he's testing to see what he can and can't do, you just have to stand your ground and show him, that he can't and won't be allowed to do such a thing. All kids have fits, even some adults have them.
• United States
5 Mar 09
I usually do time out with my 2 year old son. I find it to be pretty effective, however a lot of his behavior occurs in the car or when we are out places, so its hard to do a time out in the car. I think whatever you do, you should be firm and consistent. Good Luck!
@kdinjax (25)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Being a mom myself this realy works tell him he gets 5 check marks buy his name he cant do his fav thing like rideing his bike or playing video games. On sat or sunday if he has not went over 5 marks for that week let him go and do his fav thing.start each week again clean chart.And there has to be rules if you dont have any rules he will take as far as he can.
@mammamuh (582)
• Sweden
4 Mar 09
But it's an anger issue - he's full of feelings he can't hadle yet - isn't the best thing to help him learn to cope with them instead of punish him for having feelings?
@beachstarz (1092)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Hi yourpassiondiva ! I have raised my kids and have worked with special needs kids for 14 years . I've worked with alot of kids with anger issues and here is one thing we would do with a few . This was only done if talking or time out didn't work . We would sit on the floor indian style, and have the child on our lap . We would cross our legs over the childs legs , gently so they could not kick , and we would hold thier hands so they could not hit, pinch or throw thier arms around . We would hold them until they could calm down . Sometimes kids get so excited or angry they don't know how to control themselves, and they need someone to take control for them. We had one little boy that I remember very fondly . This boy would get up in a wheel chair and strap himself in when he was feeling out of control . Once he calmed down , he unstrapped himself and got down. He was a amazing little boy! Remember if you try this to be gentle but firm and only do it for a few min, that should be long enough for him to calm down . It's an idea anyway .. Hitting only makes things worse, I'm glad you are willing to try other ways of discipline . You will find something that works
@mammamuh (582)
• Sweden
4 Mar 09
This would not have been a good thing to do with my child - no physical contact at all was the best - holding her just made it worse. It's a thing that works for many others I know that, but for some children it will make it like h*ll, with several hours of kicking and screaming.
@jenisky (406)
• Philippines
9 Mar 09
i have 3 childrens, my eldest is going 4 yrs old and i have 1 mos. old twins.my children are all boys, and they said that boys are more hard to discipline than girls.with my twins,for now can still manage to discipline them because they are just 11 months old.but with my eldest,oh my he's super hyper and very curious of many things now,i do spank him on his butt using my hand only ( though its not as hard) but after doing it i always explain to him the reason why.but i can say that ignoring him works best for me,because when he does something bad or naughty i will told him im mad of his behavior and then i will ignore him after,when he realized that im really mad he will always come to me and says sorry for his behavior and he even promised not to do it again..but of course he's just a child and i know he'll gonna do it again but what matters to me is he knows how to say sorry.regards..
• United States
9 Mar 09
You might be able to avoid having to deal with temper tantrums if he eats less sugar. If you cut down on the high fructose corn syrup that seems to be in so many foods and juices too, he might really calm down. While you wait for this to take effect, maybe just making him stand in the corner when he's having a tantrum will help. Good luck.
@kumbarn14 (729)
• Pakistan
5 Mar 09
Dont worry all mothers have the same experience. The only thing I would advise is try to practise your religion and bring God's name and tell him little makeup stories, e.g. "You know God does not like little children who raise the hands and feet to their mother or elders" in a very loving way. Then tell him little stories about a lost little puppy looking for its mother. A story about an injured bird and whatever comes to you mind. These stories makes a child feel sorry and have emotions. They do not understand feelings. It is very important to make them feel. Tell stories how a little boy ran after a puppy, and the puppy stopped and came towards the little boy, how happy he was and start playing with the puppy. These little things which will bring love to a child. Sometimes it is necessary to make him sit on your lap and ask him how he is and whether he would like to eat something.
@pmcepe (194)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
I agree with your sticking him in his room until he quiets down. Cold shoulder treatment works with most kids because by nature kids always seek the approval of parents. Everytime he starts his tantrums either leave him alone or confine him. I could suggest another way though if you don't mind. This is tried and tested, no harm in trying this on your son. When he is asleep, pray over him,(silent prayers is OK) Lift him up to God, He who loves us loves your son more than anyone. Then think about the good behaviors you wish him: Pray something like this "Lord I thank You for this child You gave me to love and nurture. I know You love him more I could ever do and can do even what seems impossible, so I ask you to make him a behaved, loving, intelligent, considerate,( etc,etc) boy. And also make me patient and loving for I know that this will happen in Your time and in Your way. Thank You Lord. Amen"
@syankee525 (6294)
• United States
5 Mar 09
wow three. i would put him a the couch
@chabawel (330)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
Maybe, that's the thing. You may need to change the way you scold your child. Maybe try reverse psychology. Like, if he continues to behave that way, then he won't get a treat or something he's looking forward from you. Toddlers are really hard to discipline because this stage is when they explore more of their world and tries to act like a grown up. And as parents, we look unto them as children not as co-equals. But there is a time when we have to go down to their level and deal with them how they wanted to be treated. Sounds illogical but, that's how you use reverse psychology. Try it, it may work for you. Take care.
@coolchai (720)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
hi there, i also have that problem. however, he will outgrew that in time. for the meantime, do not scold or spank him. just ignore. if you are still irritated, just have sometime outside so you cant hear him. or if nobody is around to look after him when you are away, just pray. he will calm down i tell you. just be patient and kind. i know he still needs your loving. smile at him always, make him feel appreciated and loved by you. if he is violent, just tell him , hurting a person wont do anything good. just always tell him that even you think he is not listening, but he is listening, he will absorb what you tell him in due time. hes just 3yrs old. be patient. love him. hug him. thats all to it. love.
@jbosari (155)
• United States
5 Mar 09
Don't give up on him, you are doing the right thing. I have a friend who described this same situation with her son. This went on until he was about five years old. He is now one of the most responsible and well behaved 17 year olds I have ever met. Hang in there. You are a good mommy!
• China
5 Mar 09
your baby make me find my mother great when i make her in trouble in my young age! oh,maybe that is the nature.with they growing,they wouldbe your honey babys.donnot worry!let the thing be the thing.
@bulasana (71)
• Bahrain
5 Mar 09
Well i really don't know much about kids!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry..........
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
well, i don't have any kids yet but i remember my dad asking us to face the wall until we realized that we are wrong! it's effective though! we are 5 girls so our house is really banging whenever we fight to each other! facing wall is so boring so you'll look for someone to talk to, at the end we kiss and make up! hate facing wall!!
• India
5 Mar 09
HI, U YOU PROBLEM INDEED IS VERY SERIOUS.I have two kiddos but i never phased such problems,but in case i think you should concentrate on you and your hubby's behaviour ,do u both fight in front of him ,or does watch such movies or tv shows ,or any of his matesin your neighbourhood.All i mean to say is that first you find out the reason of his such arrogant behaviour then try to remove it .U see correct diagnose is half the problem treated.take care and happy mylotting.
• India
5 Mar 09
hello yourpassiondiva, well i have not much experience on this but i only want to say that time is the only solution , but for the time being you just try to explain him what is right and what is wrong by giving examples from the past, try top handle him with lots of love. i want to ask you if you dont mind, how is your relationship with your spouse?dont take in another way ifyou dont want to speak that will be ok. i just want to say that if your relation with your spouse is good, you doesn't fight with each other or doesnt scream to anyone, because sometimes this will effect on childrens behaviour. this much only i want to say. take good care of him. otherwise you can consult to a pshychatric. have a good day.
• Canada
5 Mar 09
hi there...we have a 2 year old, and it seems like the only way to discipline her that works, is the time out. she hates being in her room alone, so it seems to work good.
@mrsyen (43)
• Philippines
5 Mar 09
I agree with BrianDaniel. It's important to be consistent and patient with him. I also have a 2-year old son who could get angry and violent, and sometimes timeout and talking to him just doesn't work. If your son gets too violent, you can try giving him a pillow or anything soft to use as a punching bag. This may allow him to vent his feelings. But make sure to stress that it's never okay to hit a person. Then when he calms down, try asking him what makes him so mad. It's also possible there may be deeper issues at work here. Is there anything happening at home that could be possibly setting him off? Hope this helps. Good luck!
• United States
5 Mar 09
It sounds like you are doing the right kinds of things. Stay consistent. Don't let him get to you or let him see your anger or frustration. HANG IN THERE! You might also talk with his doctor - maybe there is some physical difficulty that bothers him. Do some reading on parenting too. And keep seeking advice from experienced parents. Way to go. I know it is hard, but try to be patient.