I’m bringin’ time out back (yeah)
Because my 3 year old doesn’t know how to act (yeah)
Right now I’d like to give her back (yeah)
So she better pick up the slack (yeah)
Yeah I really did just go there. I actually rewrote Justin Timberlake lyrics to make them fit with my blog post! Right now I will do anything to help with Little’s behaviour. So I’m taking it back to basics with disciplining a toddler!
Pick Your Battles
I have written about this before but do I take my own advice? It is so easy to get so consumed by their behaviour that everything niggles away at you. You have to decide what is important in regards to behaviour and then let everything else slide. Those red shoes may be awful to you but they are just trying to express themselves!
Know Their Triggers
Now I know not all behaviours can be prevented but I know for Little some can. She is quite highly strung in that she needs to be constantly involved. Sometimes when her behaviour is at its worst when she’s bored or overtired. I find giving her a 5 minute warning for all plans help the day run smoother. For example “5 more minutes and you’re getting dressed”.
Being consistent is so important when disciplining a toddler. Little is forever answering back with “but yesterday I did”! Mixed signals can often be the reason behind the behaviour as they are testing the water (as all 2/3 year olds do).
This is the biggest one for me. I lose my cool too easily when it comes to some of Little’s behaviours. But I know this only makes it worse. She responds so much better when I get down to her level and talk to her calmly! This is also modelling good behaviour to her.
Keep It Simple
I am guilty of expecting too much from Little. When I’m spouting off a detailed explanation as to what she’s done wrong and what will happen if she does it again, she doesn’t actually absorb what I’m saying. But if I keep it simple and warn her once, more often than not she will listen.
Another big one for me. It is so hard to not be on edge waiting for the next outburst but they pick up on our emotions. Staying positive and praising all the goods will make a huge difference!
Give A Time Out
So this is what leads me on to my whole time out lyrics! I find this the most effective way of dealing with Little’s behaviour. It gives her time to calm down and me time to compose myself.
I give her one warning. whereby I will say something along the lines of “if you don’t stop doing that you will go in a time out.” If she then continues to do it I take her hand gently and place her away from the situation. As I sit her down I explain to her why I have put her in the time out and then continue with whatever I was doing.
After 3ish minutes (dependent on her mood 3 minutes can be too long for her and she will forget why she was there in the first place) I get down to her level and ask her “why did Mummy put you in a time out?” At 3 years old she has the understanding but sometimes I may need to explain again. I do not make her say sorry but sometimes she will voluntarily say it before giving me a hug!
It is then all forgotten.
So there you have it. Disciplining a toddler is no mean feat! You have to have balls of steel and patience of a saint! But hopefully this little blip in her behaviour will pass quickly.