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Disciplining Toddlers

Lil Community: How Do You Handle a Defiant Toddler?

Toddlers can be a challenge! This question was anonymously submitted in our Ask Anything box.

Can you discipline a toddler? My 18-month-old has been so defiant recently — throwing her food at us, or on the floor. What to do?

Motherhood can be mind-boggling. Before driving yourself crazy looking for answers, head over to the LilSugar Community and type your inquiry away in our Ask the Community Anything box.

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amandachalynn amandachalynn 5 years
Evie's got it right! I do the exact same thing. I also use time outs for other things. The way I do it is by sitting the little one in a chair, and telling them, in very simple terms and a stern(not yelling) voice what they did wrong. I make sure I'm holding the object thrown or whatever, and I make them sit for a total of 1 minute per year of age. If they get up to move, I gently move them back and say "no. It's time to sit. This is time out for whatever reason." I don't leave them alone, and they eventually get it. Now I can just say the words time out and my 17 month old nieces will stop whatever they're doing. (I keep them during the week while my sister works) I did the same thing with my son, who is totally cooperative and well behaved at 5.
EvieJ EvieJ 5 years
No, I starve her! ;) I would put her down from the table, make her clean up the mess, distract her for about 20 minutes and then try again. When it does happen, just remember "it's a phase, it's a phase, it's a phase". It took us about 4 months, but she stopped.
mjokisch mjokisch 5 years
I like that EvieJ. Natural consequences. My little one is 10 months and she's my first and I haven't had this experience yet. So do you bring her back to her food later? Or not at all? That's the part I'm confused about.
EvieJ EvieJ 5 years
Food throwing is a phase. I don't know a child who's not done it. What we would do is say to our daughter "If you're throwing your food, you must not be hungry right now." We'd then remove the food (or spoon/fork, which were also thrown) and take her down from her highchair. AND we'd make her help clean up the mess. If you need some help on discipline, a series that I have found is Love and Logic. Most libraries should have the books, or look on Amazon for used copies. Really, just stay calm and don't shout (easier said than done, I know!).
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