J.O. asks from Ledgewood, NJ on March 06, 2008
22 Month Old Discipline
I am a mom of 22 month old twin boys. My husband and I have been using "time out" on a "naughty mat" for almost a month now. We get at their eye level, tell them what they did wrong. Ex. no hitting. They are supposed to sit for about a minute and a half. Then we tell them to get up and we repeat what they did wrong, ex. "no hitting". This is followed by a show of affection. One of our boys just laughs and laughs, scoots the mat around, gets up, puts one hand off, then one foot, etc. I know this is for attention and he's testing the limits so I try to ignore him while he exhibits these behaviors. When he gets up, I put him right back down. I can't get to the point where he sits for even 20 seconds. Also, I don't feel that he's learning anything from this because he goes right back to doing what he shouldn't be doing over and over again. Has anyone had a similar experience and found success with a different strategy? I would appreciate any advice you have. Thanks!
A.J. answers from Albany on March 06, 2008
They are too young. Way too young. They are babies and babies do not have self-control. Nor do babies have the cognitive ability to understand consequences.
Instituting this type of discipline method is great but not until your children are much older. About 2.5 yrs old and they will begin to understnad the connection between their behaviors and the consequences that follow.
Now this doesn't mean you cannot say no to them. In fact you absolutely need to say no to them. But to use the above method is a waste of time at this age. State your unhappiness about the offending behavior and redirect their attention. "No hitting. Let's go get your blocks."
Babies are not defiant. In order to be defiant, you have to know right from wrong. Babies can not know right from wrong.
K.C. answers from New York on March 09, 2008
I myself always thought that time out was stupid...that was until I had a son of my own! I have found that any consistent behavior from the parents can be learned as good or bad behavior by even a young child. My son seemed to mature at an early age. I swear his terrible twos were from age 10-12 months! Anyhow, at around 16 months my son started hitting if he didn't get his way. This included hitting me in the face and/or kicking. My normally sweet natured boy was becoming a brat and we couldn't stand for that. I had to resort to putting my son in his room by himself (I put a gate in the doorway so I could leave the door open but he couldn't get out) for 1-2 minutes. I told him that hitting was a no-no. He didn't like being in his room by himself (he's a very social little boy) and after about 3 weeks of this "going to his room" he no longer hit. Luckily it hasn't reoccured either. I felt that he was too youndg to be expected to sit in one place but if he didn't like being where he was, he would stop the bad behavior and it worked!
S.F. answers from New York on March 06, 2008
Hi, J.. I'd stick with the naughty mat technique, my husband and I tried it and consistently stuck with it. Our son, now 3, did the same thing at first, but we consistently implemented the technique over time and he got the idea and it started to work. We call it the "naughty spot". Now that our son is older, the technique doesn't always work all the time and we have to be creative and sometimes send him to time out in his room, or take away one of his videos, for example, to discipline. But I think if you stick with it, your son will get it, even if you have to keep putting him back down over and over in the spot.
Good luck, disciplining is very challenging!!
C.R. answers from Syracuse on March 10, 2008
I think the time out is a good thing, but if he can't or won't stay where you put him then try somewhere else...pack-n-play, strapped in his highchair/booster, or gate him in somewhere....my son is 18months old we moved in with my in laws about 6months ago....not child proof... he kept climbing the spiral staircase( no way to gate it off) everytime he would start to climb it I would tell him no and put him right in his pack -n- play....after about a month....he doesn't go near the stairs...I have 5 little boys and we have used this method with them all and it has worked for us...and remember you don't have to explain everything, especially not yet(around 3 for more detailed explainations) sometimes no just means no, explain simply but he will not sit there and think about his actions yet...good luck and remember the key to boys is keeping them busy...the more active you are at doing things with them the less trouble you have...enjoy them!
H.H. answers from Syracuse on March 07, 2008
SOS for Parents is a good resource. My son's social worker suggested it as Magic 1,2,3 didn't cut the mustard. Magic 1,2,3 may be a good resource for you as well. The time out Chair is supposed to be in a BORING PLACE, 1 min per year of age (you could do 2 min), 10 second rule (you have 10 seconds to tell the child why he is going to time out and put him there...and I think that is supposed to be 10 words or less) Then when the timer (placed near him) rings, ask him why he was there. (I am still reading the book so don't hold me to this LOL) The re-hashing why he was sent to time out contradicts the magic 1,2,3 theory, though. Magic 1,2,3 feels that once the time is done...that's it. Oh- and you can go behind the chair, grasp each hand and have your son hug himself (with your assistance) until he is able to sit in the chair without assistance. I have a tough time with this one, myself...but I have seen his social worker do it with him (he eventually does give in and sit) And Lastly ignore all the spitting, chatting, clowning around (as long as he is sitting on the chair safely)and don't respond to it. The main principle of the book is to reward the good behaviors, selectively and sparingly use mild punishment (time out) to correct undesired behaviors and don't ACCIDENTALLY reward bad behaviors. I think this book has been around for a while because it came with a video shot back in the 80's (I was flashing back to my own childhood watching the little scenes!) I hope this was helpful for you and good luck!
D. answers from New York on March 07, 2008
I once faught with my son when he was 2 yrs old for 45 mins to make him stay on the naughty stair. We use the bottom step for him to sit on. And for 45 mins I set him back down. Eventually he stayed. He's now 3 1/2 and we're still telling him no for the same things we did back then. Just be consistent. Also about the going back to doing the bad thing. They have an attention span of maybe MAYBE 15 mins. So, they can't remember long enough to know what they did wrong. You have to tell a toddler some 30 to 40 times something before they start to get it. This is normal. If he scoots the mat around, make him get up, put it back where it belongs and start over. Even if it takes an hour, eventually he'll stop.