Toddler Discipline: maybe we ARE doing something right.

Toddlerhood. It's tough, y'all. 

Grayson is good kid. He usually listens to what we say & follows directions. But, he has his moments, just like any kid. His moments of head-flinging tantrums, hitting, throwing things, and saying "nooooo!" in his {cute} Grayson way.

I have found disciplining a toddler to be quite challenging. I am a former 1st grade teacher & am used to disciplining kids who understand what I am saying. This is not always the case with a 1 1/2 year old. I'm not big on spanking; if it works for others, that's great. For us? Not so much. We started using the time out method when G had just turned 1. For a long time it has frustrated me because I wasn't sure if Grayson got it. I would sit him on the first step, tell him why he was sitting there, and tell him he needed to sit until he had cooled off.

Sometimes he just sat, sometimes he cried, & sometimes he would laugh. Yes, laugh. In time out. I would like to think that's just the snarky toddler coming out in him.  

I had never really felt like our discipline methods were making an impact....until last night.

The 3 of us were hanging out in the kitchen while I was getting dinner ready. Grayson is obsessed with the pantry and thinks he should be able to pick out snacks all.day.long. Well, he gets into the pantry and sees the goldfish. G immediately starts doing his happy food dance, furiously pointing to the bag of orange fish, & shouting "da! da!" {in Toddler language this means, "I WANT IT NOW! GIVE ME MY GOLDFISH!} 

Ben & I both told him "no"...thus, bringing on the epic toddler meltdown. There was flinging to the ground, crying, and all around pitifulness.  

In between screams, I told G that he could go sit on the step to cool off. Usually, this does nothing. However, right after I said that, G walked off. Ben followed him & sure enough, he went to the step to cool off! Lots of praise followed this incident & I was so impressed that he actually understood what I had said. I couldn't believe he left the kitchen, found his usual step, & sat down to cool off. After a minute he walked back into the kitchen and was as good as new.

My mama heart was happy last night. After all the frustrations that toddlerhood can bring, it was nice to feel like maybe we ARE actually doing something right.


{annie_loo} @ The Farrar Four said...

Good job momma! Isn't it rewarding when all your hard work pays off in that 5 seconds. toddlers are a challenge, but they are also little sponges...knowing far more, and understanding much more than we give them credit for.

Good boy G!!!!

Jonathan, Lindsay, and Brooks said...

That is awesome! way to go! We do the same thing for discipline, only the couch is his spot to cool off. I have had one instance where I told him to go sit, without actually placing him there, and he did go. It's a good feeling when you know the message was received and you aren't just the big bad monster who won't let them have their way!

Marci said...

That's awesome! What a good feeling to know your method is working!