11 answers

Time Out for a Two Year Old

Hello, looking for some advice on discipline for my two year old daughter. She will not do timeout she wont sit still long enough. She is normally very good, but sometimes at night when she is tired she will go on a hitting and biting tantrum, plus she climbs on the couch and anything else she can, and I am afriad she will fall off (she already has) and get hurt, but have yet to find an effective way to stop her.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi E.,
My name is S. and my son is 2 1/2 years old. i'm in the same boat you are. my son always has tantrums, and forget the time out thingy becasue that doesnt work. so maybe we can discuss this becasue im all out of suggustions

More Answers

Hi E.,
My name is S. and my son is 2 1/2 years old. i'm in the same boat you are. my son always has tantrums, and forget the time out thingy becasue that doesnt work. so maybe we can discuss this becasue im all out of suggustions

It is extremely difficult to discipline a two year old. When using timeout, generally you have the child sit 1 minute for every year of age (i.e. a two year old should only be sitting in timeout for two minutes). My suggestion would be to give the child as much physical activity as possible. If you live near a park, take her to the park for a few hours, shorten her nap time during the day, go for long walks, let her engage in activities with other children her age. After a long day of physical activities, she will be too tired to throw a tantrum. Also after her dinner, a nice long bath and a glass of warm milk should do the trick.
Good Luck!

hi, my son was 2 in October 2005. He was an angel up to about 26 months than he learned how to push my buttons. From about 2 to 2 1/2 it was nearly impossible to keep in timeout. It was almost like he didn't understand it. One he turned around two and a half he could comprehend consequence a little more and see that there were rules to follow. It's almost as if a little light bulb came on one day. However before that it as so frustrating. His room is on the main floor off the living room so I would put him in there and put up the gate for two minutes just to remove him from the situation. It also gave me a breather when I was getting extremely frustrated. Maybe it will just take a little longer. Good luck!

Maybe if you try putting her in a tie out area instead. Such as a corner. I make my son stand in the corner, because he would not sit for time out. Sorry...dont know if this is helpful or not.

When my four year old is figity in the corner she has to put one hand on the wall and hold one foot in her hand (so she's standing on one foot) she can only do it for about 30 seconds but she gets the point and stays still for the rest of her punishment. My two year old isn't coordinated enough for that so if he gets figity my husband or myself will stand behind him to make sure he stays there. We also start the time out over if the get out. it may take longer but it gets easier and easier each time.

Hi E.. I just received an article today from Baby Center about timeouts. Maybe it will help you...

If the link doesn't work try going to www.babycenter.com and searching on Time-outs: How to make them work

Good luck!

One minute per year for time outs is key. Then a visual and/or auditory timer. You'll know what kind of sensory input your child will respond best too. I have a chair that sits at the end of my hallway in which my daughter is directed for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior. I tell her specifically what behavior was innappropriate or unacceptable ang that she must stay there for x minutes. If she gets up from the chair, I return her without saying a word. This happens as many times as she gets up. If she does get up, I do not increase the time interval, though. Getting off the chair is not really an issue anymore, however. Since the chair is in the hallway, she can see me if I'm in the kitchen or living room so she doesn't feel abandoned (my daughter has some issues fearing being alone). Once her time is up (the microwave timer works for us), I retrieve her and we talk a bit. I remind her that the behavior exhibited is unacceptable and each time it occurs she will go back to the chair. She usually apologizes on her own. I do not force apologies, personally though.

This is something a friend of mine used with her daughter when times-out didn't work. She got a large mason jar and some macaroni (or beans or something like that). Whenever her daughter obeyed her or did something she was supposed to do, she would add a small handful to the jar. She tried to look for opportunities to do so during the day. When her daughter was being disobedient, she would remove some of the macaroni. When the jar was full, her daughter got to pick out some small treat at the store. Of course this doesn't work during a tantrum--I think isolating her would be about all you could do for a little while then--but it worked for things like keeping her from climbing on the furniture or not minding or doing other things she knew she wasn't supposed to do. Good luck!

How long are you giving for the time out? I was told that when they are small, you don't do longer than they are old. I have found that for my 2 year old, 2 min is just right. We started off putting him in his crib, but then we got a stool and he stayed (most of the time) but we were finding too many distractions, so now, I put him in a corner with his face touching the wall. Every once in a while he gets 3 min, but only for really big stuff. We also set a timer so that when it goes off, he knows it is okay to come out and apologize. He also gets a big hug when it's over.

I read that if you put them in the corner and they come out, you don't say anything to them, you just pick them up or walk them back. It might take 100 times, but they will understand eventually that you mean business. (Everything seems to take 100 times, but I guess that is how they learn)

Good luck!

I have the same problem w/ my 23 m/o son. I was at a loss for ideas, A pediatrician reccomended that I try strapping him in to a chair or a car seat in the middle of the floor. I have only tried this one time and it really did work. I thought that it was a morbit idea at first, but after a third warning and 2 attempts at time out I strapped him into a seat and when he calmed down i explained to him this is what happens . I now only have to pul the seat into the middle of the room and he sits still in time out, (the time out in the car seat doesn't start until he settled down).Good luck!

I agree with alot of the other responses. My 3 yr old will go on her own once I tell her. I had to at first sit in a chair with my back to her to keep her in the corner. We have has to keep walking her back when she left the corner. Never talk to them during the time out though. And yes a minute for each year. I also discuss what she did after and she says sorry on her own. We hug and I ALWAYS tell her I love her!

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