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104

What we try to do with our two year old toddler is offer him some (limited) range of choices -- so that he can feel he is in control. So for example with the milk, you might let him decide: do you want milk? do you want apple juice? do you want water? I believe at this toddler phase they are starting to become people, with their own wants and desires ...


54

We have a similarly strong-willed, opinionated toddler. A few additional tactics to suggest here: Redirection -- this works a lot of the time. Our child can't communicate well but usually I can tell what he wants (e.g. more cereal before dinner). I will "misunderstand" him and throw a redirect, e.g. "oh you want to help take the onions out to help me ...


35

In my years working with kids (volunteering at a couple of schools, helping to run a drug abuse prevention program, running an extracurricular program) I've met many parents who tried the no-punishment thing, all of which had the following results: The child disobeyed the parent whenever he/she felt like it, even when doing so put the child in danger. The ...


33

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1118118/ In the only published review (in 1996) of child outcomes of non-abusive or customary physical punishment, only eight studies could disentangle the causal effects of smacking. All eight studies, including four randomised clinical trials, found that nonabusive smacking benefited children when it backed ...


30

There's a sliding scale It starts out with verbal warning and ends up with being sent to their room, with a whole spectrum of other measures in between. What you can do depends on logistics (are you at home or out and about), whether you have other children to manage at the same time, and energy levels. Here's the scale we use: Verbal Warning. So the ...


30

I'm not a psychologist, but I've often heard, that from psychological point of view the "No" or negation in the heard words is subconsciously overheard, so if you tell you child "don't hold the knife", what passes through to its brain is only "hold the knife". (I think I read that e. g. in the book "The Secret of Happy Children" by Steve Biddulph) The ...


28

Explaining the reason tasks are required will help the child gain an understanding of tasks. It is developmentally important that children understand tasks - what we are doing and why so as they get older, they can reason through tasks themselves. However, bargaining, while tempting, sets a precedence of ever heightening "price" for compliance. This teaches ...


26

I consider washing the mouth out with soap to be cruel. A four year old doesn't understand why you are putting soap in their mouth. I can tell you that it is not at all effective, as I was a child who received this particular punishment. Instead of teaching me to not do a certain behavior, it taught me to fear getting in trouble. I learned to be somewhat ...


23

First of all -- now that you know the bullying is going on it should be eliminated, period. Most 3.5yo kids don't yet have the nuance to understand the difference between standing up for oneself and being mean. That's what grown-ups (and martial arts lessons, later on) are for. If the day care center is letting it go on, choose another one. That's a ...


23

As I do, I'm going to go a different way than the routes established in the other answers. I think they're pie-in-the-sky, "wouldn't it be great" kind of answers that don't really take practicality into account. Lets take a moment to critically identify the problems. If your kid is being bullied, the problem at hand is not: your kids self confidence. ...


23

I actually found that my first liked being spanked. Spanking modified behaviour not one tiny bit. Bad attention was better than no attention. On the other hand, being ignored drove her right through the roof, so she'd melt down, and we'd scoop her up and dump her in her room, and let her scream her brains out. When she calmed down, we'd go get her. We did ...


22

Teach your child not to be an easy target. Bullies go for easy prey, someone with confident body language, who can tell the bully to "knock it off" in a firm voice, etc. is a less likely target. Also, being with a group of friends whenever possible is another good strategy. Teach your child to defend him/her self and others when needed. Tattling on a ...


22

No, this is not child abuse, this is parenting. This is you having to deal with the direct consequences of your own poor actions and bad decisions. If things really happened the way you describe, then you owe your mother a very sincere apology, and you need to learn to not allow a disagreement with your brother to escalate to a point where you throw food ...


22

We've recently read Positive Parenting, and it has several suggestions we're going to implement. First, no TV within an hour of bedtime for either child. This is from me, not from the book-- TV is just too stimulating, even the most simplistic programs, so once one kid's going to bed, shut it off for the other one to get him to calm down. I have our TV ...


21

First, we have to understand, why tantrums are so common at that age. From what I understand as a parent, at this age kids want to express a lot more than they are able to. This leads to a lot of frustration and tantrums. The best way to deal with tantrums is not to let them happen: often tantrums happen when kids hungry or tired or miss the nap, so if you ...


21

I'll try to come back and edit my answer when the question is updated (see "updates" below!), but here's a start: Given the family situation you mention, you might need to ensure (or keep) her trust. Show her that you're able to keep things separate -- her achievement is not lessened by her stealing, but rest assured that the stealing will be dealt with ...


20

It appears that she values control which can be a positive trait is trained properly. Children are egocentric and at times seem to thrive on being center stage while manipulating parents as puppets. The challenge for you is to not be controlled by her behavior. Attention adds energy to their efforts. Removing/limiting your attention takes away much of her ...


20

Yes, some insight into any specific behavior or behavior set you are trying to discourage would be helpful as per Beofett's comment. In general, rule #1 is, NEVER try to discipline your children when you are enraged at them. It's OK to be angry with them (you wouldn't be punishing them otherwise), but you must be able to be objective when disciplining, so ...


19

Our kids push boundaries, alot! My husband and I have tried everything for punishment and have settled on this: bad behavior = corner...immediately Simple rules and simple fast consequences help us be consistent. It starts with 1 min and increases by another minute if: they refuse, they don't stand still, they look around, they talk, they anything. If ...


19

I really don't like the word punishment. It signals that the aim is harm/hurt your child. I like the word consequence a lot better. A child must learn that there are consequences to every they do, good and bad. It's an important lesson as they need to know they can't just do how they please, not as kids and not as grown ups. Trying to avoid a consequences ...


19

I'm trying to think of a case, and I can't. So: Never? Update: I think my answer is less helpful than some that got less votes so I'm updating it to be more helpful and also to show that the question may not be subjective, and that it shouldn't necessarily be closed, but that it should be fixed. Here goes. It is a well established fact that hitting your ...


19

With our 3.5 year old son, we do this by making sure he knows that he won't get to do the next thing until he puts away his toys. Want to watch TV? Put away your toys. Want to eat some snack food? Put away toys. Play hide and seek (his favorite game) or get thrown onto the bed? Put away your toys. Once he believed us, that he wasn't going to get away ...


18

As a general rule of thumb, if there is a parent / baby sitter / caregiver present I try and let them take care of matters, using the lower end of my interpretation of generally accepted behavior as the yard stick for when to interfere. If I do think I have to interfere I'll address the child, not the parent. This usually helps. If that rubs the parent the ...


18

Research indicates that praise can be both negative and positive. Here is link to summary of the research on praise. Although most of us believe praise is a positive way to get children to improve their behavior/performance while improving self esteem and motivation, a summary of the research reveals that praise can actually reduce self-motivation and ...


18

There are at least 2 sides to every issue. There are also at least 2 sides in every war. By destroying what she considers hers b/c she did not comply with your orders, in her eyes, the "issue" has become a "war" and you launched the first nuclear weapon, but it was a dud. Did you change her mind? No. Did you adjust her clothing style? No. (She will find ...


18

Put the child back in timeout and reset the time. Without exception. Like most other parenting duties this is all about consistency. Ignore laughing or other such - the child is trying that behavior out to elicit a reaction from you. Stay calm and firm. Don't interact beyond enforcement (that downtime's the point of the time-out, and they may be trying to ...


17

All training requires repetitions before it's really "learned" but these repetitions refer to separate situations. When you have to repeat yourself several times in a row in a single situation, then more discipline is required. As a parent, your authority should not be ignored without some form of punishment, and this is something you can train. ...


16

The thing to worry about most is poor performance at school, only because that has the possibility of really cutting off her options in the future. One question you might ask yourself is why she isn't interested in other things. Rather than complain--which clearly isn't helping--do what you can to start a dialog. What is she getting out of facebook? Do her ...


16

A one year child, while quite active with the hands and legs, is in the discovery phase, everything is new and exciting. Putting things in the mouth or feeling crevices through is their way of experiencing their world. At the same time, they are definitely aware of when their parents are happy with them and when they are not. They also try to take actions ...


15

I used to work with someone who was a huge proponent of spanking. His claim was that without spanking, his kids would be out of control, disrespectful, and so forth. Corporal punishment, he claimed, worked. Among the things that he had to discipline his kids for? Disrespect for authority figures. Destruction of property. Lying. Hitting each other. Hitting ...



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