3 Toddler Discipline Tricks That Don't Involve Spanking

little girl timeout
Whether you’re anti-spanking, or you have one of those kids that doesn’t respond to that discipline method (they do exist -- believe me), sometimes you need a few tricks up your sleeve to get your little one to behave -- or at least calmed down.



Let’s face it, when toddlers go into meltdown, they basically turn into mini lunatics, and if you’re not hyper-vigilant, you may find yourself promising them what they want just to get them to stop screaming. Then they learn they only have to scream to make Mommy batty enough to give into their tyrannical demands for Dora and chocolate.

I’ve gotten through two tough toddlerhoods as a mom, and it was by the skin of my teeth, man. Those post-baby, pre-school kiddos are tough nuts to crack, and I’m pretty sure it was during those times in my life I vowed never to procreate again. Now that my youngest is edging rapidly toward six, that’s changing, but that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple disciplinary tricks for you that worked for me, and one that might have if I’d thought of it when I still had toddlers.

Glittery Time Out Timer This one has been making the rounds on Pinterest, and I’m considering making one for myself and convincing the kids they need to put Mommy on a time out. It consists of a clear bottle filled with an easy-to-make solution of water and glue, and glitter. The glue makes the liquid thick enough so the glitter takes a few minutes to settle when shaken. The kids become mesmerized when in time out, waiting for it all to settle.

The Magical One-Second Time Out This tip shocked me by working for a kid that would not keep her tushy planted in time out. You sit the child in time out, and tell them they can get up when you say so. As soon as they sit, tell them they may get up. That way they’re obeying you without realizing it. Do this a few times, and gradually increase it to a few seconds, a minute, a few minutes. The kid is usually so astonished that it was so short that they wait longer to see how short it will be next time. They don’t even realize they’re being trained to wait for your signal -- aka obedience.

A Crying Spot I had one that cried muchly. Oh who am I kidding, she’s still my crier. Which is why we instituted a crying spot for when she needed a good bawl. If it was a tantrum cry,she could cry all she wanted, but she had to do it from her bed. Things get a lot less interesting when you’re allowed to do the very behavior you’re trying to irritate your parents into giving you what you want with.

What have you discovered does the trick when disciplining your toddler?

Toddler Discipline Tricks That Don't Involve Spanking

Image via Alexey Losevich/shutterstock and Randy Faris/Corbis

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