Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘toddler discipline

I’ve been implementing timeout since M was about two and a half years old.  Luckily for me, I haven’t had to use it much..

Because it hasn’t been used much, M didn’t realize how serious a timeout is..

I usually give her a warning.  I count to three, and once I get to three, she gets a timeout.

Usually, just saying, “One!” is enough to get her to listen to me or to stop whatever bad thing she is doing.

Lately, she’s been saying, “I want timeout!”


Ok, so a few days ago, she got her timeout.

I counted to three, she insisted on the timeout.  So I took her to the closest wall I could waddle to (yes, I waddle now) and I told her to stand there and face the wall.  I waddled away and she followed me.  I took her back there and told her she had to stay there and be quiet.

At first she thought it was a game.  She was all for it.

Then, after a minute, she declares, “I’m done on timeout.”

I took her back there and said, “I’m the one that tells you when you are done.”

That’s when the whining started.  She started crying, walking away and saying she was done.  I kept bringing her back there telling her she wasn’t.

Timeout wasn’t so fun after all, was it?

Once she stopped fighting it and stayed there, I gave her about 30 seconds in that place and then told her she was done.

She ran into my arms and just cried.

I felt so bad, but I knew I had to stand my ground.  I explained to her that timeout was not a game.  We also talked about why she ended up in timeout and I asked her if she wanted to be on timeout again.  This time, she said, “no.”

Lesson learned.


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I think I lucked out with M’s terrible twos.  I know I had my share of trials and tantrums, but overall, it wasn’t so bad.  She still listened.  She was still pleasant.  She was still my sweet little girl.

Ok.. she’s still my sweet little girl.

But she’s about three years and three months old now… and I think there is a change in her..

She’s learning to test me.  She’s got a bit of an attitude now.  She’s more assertive.  She cries a lot easier.

She’s definitely changing.

I know that the “testing” phase was inevitable.  She tests my authority on an almost daily basis.  It isn’t too bad yet.  It’s small things.  For example, putting her hand on a wall.  I tell her not to because of a specific reason, and she will insist.  It’s not a big ordeal and it’s not something I would usually blow out of proportion, but because I know she’s testing my authority, I have to be firm about it.

I’m hoping that these small things that I’m insisting she listen about means that when it’s something major, she knows I mean business.. one could only hope…

I’m also hoping that the small things remain small.. small instances where she just tests my authority.. nothing major.. again.. one could only hope..

This phase could not have come at a worse time.. with the baby on the way and all the additional changes that are going to come with having a new baby in the home, I just hope that I have the patience and the energy to deal with it all!

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For awhile, we had been relying on empty threats when it comes to discplining M.

If you don’t stop that, I’m going to turn off the TV!”
“If you don’t stop that, I’m going to put back the play-doh!”

For awhile it worked… sort of.  We just had to remind her all the time!

Then, it stopped working. 

We knew that we had to finally follow through with our threats.

M was sitting on a computer chair in a way that can potentially hurt her.  We tell her all the time to not do that. 

Me: “M, stop that or I’m going to turn off Frozen.”
M: ….
Me: “M, do you want me to turn off Frozen?”
M: Yes. (
Probably not realizing what she was really going on.)

I turned off Frozen.

And then the water works started.  She cried.  Oh, she cried.

I explained to her why I turned it off and that I would turn it back on again if I saw her NOT sit on the chair that way.  She obeyed and the movie was turned back on.

It took about two or three more times of following through with our punishments before she realized we meant business when we told her to stop something.

Now, if we ask her “Do you want me to….” as a punishment, she answers “no,” and stops what she’s doing.

I think we safely say we won the battle, for now…

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2014 is off to a great start.. today M turns 28 months old.. AND yesterday, she received her first punishment..

No.. it wasn’t horrible, in fact, I really don’t think she was old enough to grasp the concept. 

All night, it was “M, this.. M, that.. M, stop.. M, don’t go there…”

One particular bad habit she’s suddenly started was spitting.  At first she’d just spit with an empty mouth.  Nothing really came out, but she would just do the action of spitting.  Already, I was trying to stop her because it’s just not a thing little ladies do!

Then, it became spitting the milk or water that was in her mouth. 

Then, it became spitting milk onto the carpet or any surface that was near her, and then playing with the spit milk.

Yesterday, it just was too much. 

Every time we gave her a sippy of milk, she’d take a drink and it would just go right on the carpet or on her table. 

Not cool.

So I did was any mother of a modern-day, technology driven family would do.. I took her iPad away. 

Not that she was playing with it at that moment, but she was asking for it.  She was asking to watch her favorite “Undersea Play Doh” video on Youtube. 

I explained to her that because she didn’t listen and kept spitting out her milk that she couldn’t have her iPad and she couldn’t watch that video.

She agreed, but didn’t seem phased.  Like I said earlier, I don’t really think she “gets it” yet. 

Maybe if she was actually playing with the iPad, she would have understood. 

Can’t wait to see what other adventures in parenting this kid’s gonna bring this year..

To store M’s toys, we have an Ikea Trofast.


It comes with these bins:


Playtime in our apartment has come to this:


Sometimes, she dumps the toys and swims in it, or even makes “toy angels!”  You know, snow angels, but with toys.. toy angels.

Well, after one night of her constantly dumping out the bins after I pick them up after her, and her constantly tripping over her toys, I figured enough was enough.

No more dumping!

So I left it there.  The entire mess.  I left it there until the next day when she came home from Grandma’s house and we were all home from work. 

She wanted to watch some of her TV shows.  I said no.  I said we had to pick up all the toys and put them away before she could watch any TV or play with her iPad.

That didn’t settle well with her and she started to whine, but I stood my ground. 

I tried to make it a game.  I tried to make it like basketball and everytime I would put a toy in the bin, I’d say “score!”  It worked for a little bit, but she got bored with that quickly and tried to move on.

I continued to stand my ground. 

Ok, so she’s a year old.. if she didn’t want to physically pick up the toys and put them away, that’s fine.  But she had to learn that she couldn’t do anything else until all the toys were put way.  So when she would try to walk away, I would pick her back up and bring her back to me.

“See?  Clean up, clean up!”  I’d say in a sing-song manner. 

“Out! Out!” she’d whine.

But she wasn’t going anywhere.   She stayed with me until all the toys were put away. 

Then, after she calmed down from all the whining, I let her watch one of her TV shows.

As she was watching, she went over to one of her bins and dumped it all over the floor again.

So, I turned off the the TV.  She was NOT happy.  But I said that the TV was going to be off until we picked up all the toys again and no more dumping.

Toys were picked up, TV was put back on.

This cycle continued for about three more times for a day or so, sometimes with the iPad, sometimes with the TV.  Either way, when she would dump the toys, and whatever other thing she was working with was turned off.  She was to stay with me until the toys were picked up and we would say “no more dumping.”

During this, we were also trying to show her that she could pull out one or two toys of choice out of the bins instead of dumping.  We were giving her new options.

A day or so of whining, and then it was over.. sorta.

She’d get near the bin with every intention of looking to dump those toys.  All we had to say, in a slightly “more stern” tone was, “M, no dumping.”  And she’d back away, or pull the bin out and pick out a toy!


Well, like with all toddlers, nothing is predictable..

There are times when a stern, “no dumping” works.. and there are times where she just feels the need to just release some chaos. 

You know what, that’s ok.  If she needs to blow off that steam, that’s fine.  But she also needs to know that after she dumps the toys, they need to be picked up, and that she can’t do anything else until those toys are put away.

What sort of adventures are you having while parenting your toddler?

Call me a softie, but I hate having to discipline M.

I always feel like I’m crushing her spirit or something.

But I know it has to be done.  She doesn’t run the show here, I do.  Hubby does. 

It’s easy to discipline her when she’s whining and tantruming.  It’s easy to be stern and tell her, “Stop.”

It’s easy to hold her close, put my face against hers, and whisper “Stop it right now” into her ear. 

She gets it.  She calms down, and kind of sinks into my arms like she knows she has no shot at winning the battle.

I feel a little surge of victory..

It’s when she’s playing and having a good time, and then does something she isn’t really supposed to.  It’s that smile that gets me everytime and I have so much trouble telling her to stop when she flashes it.

That smile gets me everytime.  I feel like I don’t want to ruin her fun, but I know she has to be told that she can’t do whatever she did.

She makes me a big softie… but I’m learning to get over it.  If I don’t get over it, I know I’ll be paying for it in the future when she gets older totally spoiled rotten!  I gotta take care of the little things now, so she knows that she won’t be able to get away with the big things later..

But she’s sooo cute!  It’s hard!

What is it about your child that makes you just feel like spoiling them rotten?!

I’ve noticed lately that whenever we go out as a family, the stroller is being used for holding our stuff than it is used for holding M.

Whenever she’s in the stroller, she insists she walk.. all you hear as you wheel her around is, “Ah-walk, ah-walk, ah-walk..”

The same happens when we are at Target or a grocery store and she’s in the shopping cart.  She’ll be ok for awhile, and then realize that she’s not walking and starts staying, “Ah-walk, ah-walk, ah-walk.”

It’s pretty cute because she’s pretty persistent..

So, early on in her walking days, I taught her that she had to hold hands with either me, Hubby, or her grandparents when she would walk around in public.

I’m so anti “baby-leash” and Hubby always wanted to try it because he was scared of her running off..

I told him to let me try to teach her not to do so..

It started somewhere public.. either a mall, grocery store, Church.. I forget the details..

She wanted to go down and walk, so I let her down.  I went to hold her hand, and she lets go of it immediately and runs off..

I chase her.. and hold her hand again..

She lets go, and runs off..

I chase her one last time, telling her that if she does that again, I will carry her.

She does it again.

I catch and carry her.  She cries a little.

A minute later, she wants down..

I tell her to hold my hand or it’s up in my arms she goes..

She tries to let go, I pick her up and carry her..

A minute later, she wanted down..

I tell her again, hold hands or carry.

And just like that, she held my hand and I took her where she wanted to go!

Now, when ever we go out in public and she wants to go down, she knows to hold hands..

She loves holding both mine and Hubby’s hand.. she’ll say “Han mimi, han Joe” as she reaches for one of our hands..

Now we don’t need a baby leash!  Gosh.. I hope everything that I’ll need to teach her about discipline and listening to us will come that easy.. one could only hope!

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June 2020