Disciplining My Toddler?


Age 2… it can be a fun time; watching your little one learn, expanding their vocabulary & watching their personalities come out. These things are wonderful, but then there is a difficult more frustrating aspect to this age. There is a reason they call it the terrible twos. The tantrums would be enough to drive even a patient mama crazy. We have a new addition to the terrible in the terrible twos, back talk.

My daughter’s new favorite past time is disagreeing with mommy. Not only does she disagree, she does it with an all too smart mouth. Recently, she has been tormenting the dog a lot. The other day she was chasing him around the house with her push car. I was in turn chasing after her asking her to leave him alone. She ended up ramming into him causing him to slam into the wall as well. He yelped and I scolded Mai. I told her that what she did was not nice and that she needed to pet Duke and tell him sorry. Her reply “Mama, Dukey don’t talk.”  I am not sure if I should be proud because she is so clever or mad that I was just sassed by her. Regardless, she did eventually give Duke a hug & said sorry.

I am honestly at a loss about how to handle bad behavior. I want to make sure that we are effectively disciplining her, but I don’t know if I am doing the right things. I thought back to my childhood & remembered getting lots of spankings & time in the corner. I have spanked Mai a handful of times. The result was laughter followed by “Mommy funny!” I have tried calmly reasoning with her. That was a fail. I hear myself saying the phrase, “I am going to count to 3.” 1, 2, 2 1/2… I found the only thing that would seem to get through to her was the time-out. Our active child hates having to sit still when there is so much to do. Luckily we never removed the crib alarm from her toddler bed when we converted it over. So we send her to sit on her bed for time outs & she does not move because she does not like the alarm to sound. I have read that you should never use the crib or a bed for punishment because it associates negative things with sleep, but it has worked for us without causing issues during naps or bedtime.

This week during dinner, she had a full blown tantrum. She was throwing things, screaming and thrashing around on the floor. She stopped mid-tantrum and looked at me and said “Mama count!” It took me a moment before I realized what she meant. “I’m going to count to 3.” Then she said “Mama, send Mai to bed.” I was speechless. “Mama, I do it myself.” She stood up, walked into her room closed the door & put herself in timeout.

Mommy wants someone to give her a timeout.

About The Pinterested Parent

I am loving wife to my best friend & mommy to our smarty pants little girl, who loves to learn, craft & play. I am an artist, a crafter & I am Pinterest addict. When I first started my blog it was meant to be an outlet for my Pinterest addiction. I was looking to inspire & be inspired. What it became was a wonderful journey for me & my daughter in which we chronicle our activities, crafts, lessons & a hefty slice of our life. Please join us as we navigate through this wonderful thing called motherhood.
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23 Responses to Disciplining My Toddler?

  1. My son will be three in a couple months and I’m in the same boat! “mommy chair” he says, like he wants to go to the time out chair. He cries while he’s sitting there but when his two minutes are up he will choose to sit longer rather than apologize. After he finally says sorry, it won’t change his behavior and he will be back to it. Maybe just being consistent and in the long run it will work? Maybe its just a phase and theres little we can do about it? I’d love to hear if anyone has any good book recommendations or techniques.

    • It is not easy for sure. I have tried different approaches. Finding a good book would be a good idea. It is so hard to know if you are doing the right thing for your child. I feel for you mama. It is always nice to hear that other have the same struggles. It is easy to think you are alone in these things especially when your friends all seemingly have the most well behaved children in the world. Lol. From infancy she has given me a run for my money and it seemed everyone else was like “What? This is so easy. ”

  2. Ok, got to give her credit, Mai is definitely a smarty pants. That last bit, made me smile even though I know I shouldn’t. Mai and Lily would get along famously, because Lily is my child that pushes the envelope, too. Emma has her moments do t get me wrong, but she is more reserved in the back talk and not as sarcastic. With Lily, I have many times had to discipline and walk away before I let out a giggle, because she, too, is too smart for her own good and will come out with things that while funny aren’t really nice or polite for a 3 year old. I think if time outs are working with Mai then stick with it. I mean, as my mother always said, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” Just my two cents and with my girls usually counting and time outs have helped, as well.

    • She is a smarty for sure. It has it’s pros and cons. Lol. If we got our munchkins together we would be laughing all day for sure. She is also sarcastic like your Lily. Sarcastic at 2 years old. I know we only have ourselves to blame and my husband and I are both full of sarcasm. Now I know what my mother went through.

  3. Joanna says:

    Same here: tantrum, and then she says, now I’m going for time out, and I’ll cry. In a very matter of fact voice. And then she starts fake crying ! It’s like a ritual that we play.

  4. Mai is a ham and very bright too!! I have never been a fan of time outs. I found in my early years with my daughter that taking away what she enjoyed doing the most, worked best.
    Two is still young age they can’t grasp consequences but they can understand I can’t play with my toy or no more cookies.
    Having her say sorry to Duke was great idea and maybe telling her why is good too. Comparing another’s pain or discomfort to times she has felt the same is awesome, helps develop empathy.
    Great share best of luck and I don’t want to bust your bubble but “terrible two’s” is only the beginning of great changes to come lol breathe and enjoy the ride it’s really not that bad ❤️😉

  5. Thank you. I have not yet tried taking things away. I will try that. I try having her look at me while I explain what and why she did was wrong. She will say sorry, but with a silly little smirk on her face. It is a start, but like you said they are still trying to make sense of it all. I will keep explaining and as the understanding grows it will hopefully sink in. It is funny though because one of my favorite phrases is “Patience is a virtue. ” Now if anyone says to her Mai be patient, she looks at them a waves a finger and says “Patience is a virtue.” Lol

  6. They call it the terrible twos for a reason! Perhaps distraction could work, if she’s getting into something she’s not. All I can say is, it does get easier!

  7. mammaspeaks says:

    Two is when kids start exerting their independence. They understand that they have a right to say yes or no and not sure why it’s usually more nos then yeses. I have gone through this similar phase, so I can sympathize with you. For punishments, what works today doesn’t work tomorrow. I used to lock my daughter in a store room as a way of punishment, but it backfired. It was kind of hilarious. May you have more patience, that’s what we need the most as mothers.

  8. We went through the same thing with our son. It does get better. We sent him to time-out consistently and soon it got through to him. We would put toys in time outs because he hated losing toys and that put him right into shape. We also used things that he really wanted to do like going to the park or the pool as things that we would take away if he wasn’t good.

    Atleast at the end it feels like you are getting through to her.

  9. lauralinda32 says:

    My son is 2 1/2 and very much well behaved, but not very vocal, which leads to huge frustration!! I have tried lots of ways of disciplining him when hes downright bold rather than frustrated, and so far, best one is squatting down, making eye contact and holding his hands in mine (to stop slapping out & kind of to restrain him!!) – I then lay it down very simply and say ‘that was bold. Dont do that again or you will be in trouble’ ‘Now say sorry to mammy!’ and generally that works. He has to stand in front of me and accept what Im saying. I dont shout but Im stern and if he gets loud, I get quieter, so he has to listen. I get a hug and kiss and a ‘sorry mammy’ 9 out 10 times… hope this helps! Good luck! x

    • I do this as well. I have many talks like this with my daughter, unfortunately I have to get her out of the throes of a tantrum before I am able to get the “Sorry mama.” She is hot tempered and not reasonable during a fit of tantrum. Ugh! I do raise my voice in frustration sometimes. It is not always easy to keep a level head myself. I wonder where my daughter get her hot headedness from? Hmmmm? Thanks for your input. It is great to hear so many different things from different mommies.

      • lauralinda32 says:

        I bet its hard! Im very lucky that my son has taken on my laid back ways, but when we have baby no. 2 in the future, he or she may end up not so laid back!! So Im always reading up on this subject, just in case…!

      • Lol! It is funny you say that because my daughter has been challenging from day 1. She was a tough tough infant. She is actually an easier toddler. My husband has been so weary of baby 2 because of how colicky and sleepless she was. I keep reminding him. There is usually one hard one easy or so I have been told. Any other baby would be smooth sailing. He said, “But what if we find out she was the easy one? ” lol Impossible!

  10. Mallorye says:

    My two year old talks back with attitude!! I probably say “don’t talk to mommy that way” 2887762 times a day!! I found the book give them grace has really helped us! We try to explain why what she did was wrong and get to the heart issue. The next time she gets a spanking. Then I always remind myself one day I will be thankful that she has a strong personality and sense of independence even if it drives me insane today.

    • Thanks Mallory’s. I will have to check that out. I try to talk to her calmly and reason. Sometimes I feel as if I am getting through. Sometimes I feel as if she is being a smart a@#. I don’t always know if I am saying the right thing. I will look into that book. I agree that someday I will be grateful for her strong personality…or at least I hope. I might not like it through the teenage year. Lol

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