How Do You Discipline A Toddler?

As usual, when I’m at my parents’ house and someone is acting up – off he goes to time out…

You have to be more patience…” said my Dad as I sent Lil’ A to time out for the 100th times because he thinks jumping on top of piles of his old clothes that I just neatly folded is so much fun than climbing up the windows railing, which got him several warnings already. “You will have more headache when he’s a teenager…” Dad went on.

From the way my Dad was talking I can tell he was 90% teasing me – because he knows Lil’ A can drives me insane for sure.

You used to make us standing in the corner with one leg up – that is time out!” as I remember one of those dreadful childhood punishments.”And remember your big black belt? That belt and me were best friend, right?” Then we all started laughing.

Yes, but it’s different now! We love our grandson more than we love you!” my Mom chimed in.

Maybe she’s right…because my Mom and I always had a fit about how I discipline Lil’ A. In her eyes I’m a mean mommy when she had a power pinch that used to gave my thighs ‘badges’ that will last for weeks! She’s been acting as Lil’ A’s attorney/defender, whatever you wanna call it since we moved back to Indonesia so of course the boy will always tried to seek her help when he’s in trouble! Sometimes she would even stepped in and ‘rescued’ Lil’ A from his time out and I’ll be fuming at her.

With my Dad, I can still reasons with him that time out is necessary at this stage along with taking away the little boy’s privileges such as his toys/movie(s) after counting to three. He gets me but not my Mom!

When I was little, corporal punishments were daily part of our lives like so many others who grew up in the 70s – 80s (and prior?) and since I wasn’t exactly the sweetest little girl growing up – that belt became my friend with some other physical punishments. Until one day I think I was in 4th grade, too caught up in play time and didn’t realized it was already dark…too scared to come home, I hid in a small chicken barn a few houses down the block.

Oh did that caused panic to my parents! Not only them some of the neighbors also helped trying to find me. I hid for hours, can’t remember how long but someone did found me – she took me to her house, gave me a cup of hot tea. I cried and begged her not to tell my Dad because I will be in deep trouble.

Eventually, I came home and was scared to death but instead of getting my usual ole’ beating, my Dad picked me up, sat me on his lap and apologized to me. He got tears in his eyes, he just held me for the longest time and kept telling me he loves me. Since that night – the corporal punishments stop in our household but I still remember them.

I wouldn’t want Lil’ A to have that kind of fears, besides physical punishments will only hurt for a few seconds or minutes and eventually the child will learn how not to feel them. So if I have to be a mean mommy and stick to my gun when I said NO then be it…he can sit and cried his head off but he will never meet that belt!

So, how do you discipline your child, especially toddler? Share here what works and what’s not working for you.

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18 thoughts on “How Do You Discipline A Toddler?

  1. Satakieli Reply

    Perhaps your parents think they didn’t discipline properly with you when you were younger, but it’s completely counterproductive for them to step in while you’re disciplining your own son. You all need to be a united front on this!

    My parents used to spank me, and I got the thigh “badges” from my mum too! She says to me that if she had our time again she’d never do it.

    We save spanking for serious things. If Mikey’s about to run out in the road or do something equally dangerous he gets a pop on the butt right there and then. Rather he has a bit of a sore butt than gets hit by a car.

    We do time outs for tantrums, more so he can cool off about whatever upsets him rather than as a punishment. He’ll sit on a chair in his room until he’s ready to come out, we do allow him to play with toys or whatever in there so long as he’s quiet and comes out in a better mood. If he throws a tantrum in a store then I sit on the floor with him and try to empathize about what he’s upset about and explain in as simple language as I can why he can’t have his way. Something like “You want toy. You are mad because you want toy, mummy says no toy and you are mad.” Then I try to redirect him without letting him get his own way.

    He’s still at the age where redirection works really well. I’m not sure how well it will work when he gets older… so maybe I’ll be asking for more advice then!

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      I’ve used spanking before but I think it hurts me more than him hahaha. But I do agree with you on some stuffs we have to be more stern with them.

      I usually resort to time out after 3 warnings went unheard of – amazing how toddlers can tuned you out but you’re right I’m hoping my parents esp. my mom will stop acting as his defender because he already figured it out and always calls out for her to come and rescue him every time he’s in trouble. Sigh.

      That’s a wonderful way of you handling store tantrums…I usually resort to threatening that if he doesn’t stop we will leave. Most of the times it will work – most of the times distractions works too.

  2. Satakieli Reply

    Oh and my MIL sent me a book called “The happiest toddler on the block” which i thought was really good for discipline and stuff like that.

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      Thanks for the info, girl! I’m looking it up on Amazon now and will order myself one. I know I could use some discipline advice from a book just didn’t know which books to read LOL. Thanks, Bex!

  3. SugarBooty Reply

    I am starting to get into that age with Stella. She is only 9 months old, but already she gets into trouble by opening drawers, crawling into the bathroom, and reaching for things on the shelf. She’s almost walking and talking! I find myself saying “no” a lot, but I try to redirect more than discipline. I’m sure that will change once she is older!

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      I didn’t start disciplining until after Lil’ A turned 1 then we started with time out just for a few seconds if he did something really bad but I think your Stella is just in a curious baby time. Wait until she gets older hahaha.
      Thanks for stopping by! šŸ˜€

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  5. Pumpkin and Piglet Reply

    Sorry hun, I have no real advice for you. I’m not at that stage with Piglet yet but I’m sure it won’t be long! It must be frustrating at times when your Mum ‘rescues’ Lil’ A and maybe sends him mixed messages?

    Thanks for your lovely comment at mine earlier! It helps to know someone else went through this and there is an end šŸ™‚

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      It is frustrating, Sian…she drives me crazy while I’m very strong headed and sometimes I’m having a hard time between balancing not to hurt her feelings and standing my ground to the way I raise Lil’ A most of the time I had to ‘warned’ her not to step in and rescue him because he already realize his “Oma” will rescue him and he always tries to use that.

      Thanks so much hun! I hope it will be easier for you with Piglet when her times come šŸ˜€

  6. gigi Reply

    I’ve conveniently forgotten the misery of that phase and have nothing to offer šŸ™‚ hee hee!!!!

  7. Kerry Reply

    okay, that picture of lil A is precious and makes me want to squeeze him! so cute!

    all I can say is GRANDPARENTS! UGH! When Paul’s mom was alive she would tell us to leave her “baby duck” alone. her baby duck was usually into something he wasn’t supposed to be in but she did not care. and Paul had the same argument…you use to chase us with the broom. Times we sure different. and I’m glad. It’s all about consistency and sticking to your words. if you say he is getting that toy taken away if he does XX then make sure you follow through.

    And with respect you can tell your parents that it’s your turn as the parent and Lil A HAS to listen to YOU.

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      Aww thanks Kerry!

      Hahaha I think it’s right what I read somewhere about Grandparents’ rights to spoil our kids rotten and return them to us! Thanks for sharing your own experience, Kerry. Times are different but I think all generations just wants to raise our kids to be a good behaving citizens of the world – yes, maybe the elder generations used brooms and belts to discipline us hahaha but it does works.

      My Dad is pretty much on my side when it comes to disciplines ‘tactics’ and when my mom gets upset with me and I’m upset because she rescued her grandson again, I will ask my Dad to do explain to her my points.

      The balancing acts here involves not hurting my parents feelings as well…it’s just the whole asian cultures thing basically but it does drives me and my husband crazy and we didn’t want Lil’ A to grow up to be a spoil brat.

      Thanks again, Kerry!

  8. Sylvia, Jake and Matt Reply

    My parents are exactly like yours. Mom always tell me that she would never spank her grandchildren because they are not her own children. I do give my boys spankings when they cross their lines. Better discipline them when they are young rather than having difficult, uncontrollable teens later on.

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      Totally agree with you on better discipline them early on than trying to tame a wild teenagers! I’m still trying to figure out how to balance not hurting my mom’s feelings (you know Indonesian parents, sensitif kan yah hahaha).

      Thanks Sylvia!

    • Maureen Post authorReply

      Hi Heidi, so sorry for the late reply. Thanks for sharing your links. Will be on my way to check them all out. šŸ˜€

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