So, Is This Discipline?

The time of tantrums and toddler drama is upon us.

And so is the time of discipline. Chazz (as amazing as he is!) has learned about fits. And boy, is he good at throwing them! For example:

The entertainment center? Is off limits. If he is trying to climb up it or chew on it or push speakers off of it or rip cords out of the wall and I move him and/or his hand away, BOOM. Insta-fit. Screams, tears, whining, the whole bit. At least a two minute ordeal.

In defense, I mostly use the art of distraction. Exchange the offending object for a toy I would prefer him to have, or move him away. It works, but only after he pushes the toy back in your face or throws it on the ground. And more tantrum.

It must really be frustrating to be a toddler. Craving independence in a land of “no’s.” I understand that.

I explain to Chazz in a calm tone why, repeat “no,” and even give him a toy. Or a cheerio. Anything.

(All of this AT ONE YEAR. I thought this was two-year-old business, anyway??) Where is my sweet baby boy, and who is this crazed grabby grab mcgraberton crabby pants??

At home, its easier. He “gives in” sooner and is easier to distract. And I feel less pressure. (Not under public scrutiny?)

At the grocery store, Chazz threw his first public huge fit. And it was so EMBARASSING! I could have died. The entire store was looking at my kid like he was the crazy. Like I was crazy! And it was just me, no Roman for back-up. (And I totally sucked! I couldn’t even handle it. I left my cart and took Chazz to the car.)

So after having a few teeth knocked out by a Tonka truck or two and being embarassed to near-death, I’m brainstorming. How should I have handled this little tyrant?

Sometimes a swat on the butt seems like a pretty good idea. Sometimes slapping his little hand sounds good too. I’m not against either of those options, I’m just a little uncertain that they are age-appropriate solutions. And about what ARE. But frankly, the gruff “no” isn’t working well, and I doubt it will work for much longer!

A diciplined one year old is a well behaved two year old (I’m quoting you, Dad.) And I want both.

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. childrensessentials
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 15:29:26

    Totally with you – my 13 mo old has also learned about Emmy Award winning Hissy Fits (thank you 2 and half year old big sister). The swat on the behind is tempting….however, I am going to try the hand swat and removal (as in, totally removing her from the room).

    For the record – leaving the store with a wild, crazy, fit-throwing 1 yr old – GENIUS. No way that could have ended any better for all parties involved.


    • Forever&After
      Dec 21, 2010 @ 14:05:07

      Isn’t it funny how soon they learn this? 13 months and already giving us a hard time! Thank you, and I agree, a swat to the hand (after a firm no has failed) seems like the best place to start.

      Good luck to you and your LO!


  3. Alexandria Campbell
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 16:04:10

    can i tell you something in love? it only gets worse! yes i know! how is that even possible? but it does. when my son started approaching 2 (like 18 mths) he quickly became of the definition of “terrible two’s” i remember his first public melt down in public (and of course as mom blogger i documented it all on video for the blog) and he just lost his mind it was incredibly embarrassing and exhausting but after he was finished i got a lot of “i’ve been there” looks & pep talks from other moms at the mall play area.

    we haven’t reached discipline nirvana yet where i can just give him the look or issue one warning & he’ll stop but he is getting better and i’ve learned the key to that is ME being consistent. good luck!


    • Forever&After
      Dec 21, 2010 @ 14:09:49

      I had to “lol” about you getting it on camera for the blog. Made my day!

      I really hope it doesn’t get worse, even though I know it will. He will always be pushing to find the boundaries. Maybe in time I won’t be so mortified when it happens in public? I hope so!

      Thank you for all of your advice lately. I’m flattered that you read my blog!


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  5. Beth
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 12:20:44

    I am a mother of 5 ranging from 15years-8 months and have been married for 16 years. My sole advice to you dear is no matter how loud he screams at the store, or where ever you are, let him scream. Do not give him what he is screaming for no matter what. True, you are new at this and are mortified, but me, old pro and could care less about being stared at. Just let it happen a couple of times and he will get the drift. You won’t even have to swat him!!! He’s just testing you, to see who will win!! Make sure it’s you.


    • Forever&After
      Dec 21, 2010 @ 14:17:12

      I agree with your advice so often, Beth! It really is hard to hear him scream and to let it be. (I almost feel like its rude or disruptive when in public, which is why I’m so torn!) But it makes complete sense. He has to learn! And if I give in now, he would expect me to give in everytime.

      I really hope you are right about him “getting it” after a few times! I can’t take this!


  6. Dad
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 20:49:10

    These ladies have given you some pretty sage advice BabyGirl. I’m lacking in many of these tales and experience because you were way to easy until you were TEN. Yes, that was when the real insanity started – and by then you had me wrapped around those beautiful little pinkies of yours. I stand by my statement about a disciplined one year old and so on and so forth. The trick is finding the method that works the best without killing yourself over it. Mom says don’t forget to pray. I think she may have some store adventure stories relating to you though. Something about you licking stuff in the store meant you could have it. Didn’t work. She also left the store with you a time or two as well – leaving behind a full cart with some of your goodies in there. I seem to remember this one now. You were highly mortified and we had a talk (there’s that wrapped around thing). Seeing how LittleMan is such a bright boy I do believe he will get past this pretty quickly , plus the molars coming in probably aren’t helping. Like Alexandria said be consistently YOU and Beth’s is a harder one since it requires that you toughen up to that mortifying sound. Give him a time limit by counting (teaching him numbers and consequences) and then exit the place. It is why a good sitters list is important for you and Roman to get some together time. Love you, Dad


    • Forever&After
      Dec 23, 2010 @ 13:51:44

      Haha Thanks Dad. But I would NEVER have licked something in the store. Nope. Not me! Hehehe “-)

      This discipline thing is hard! Especially since Chazz is just as hard headed as the rest of us. He may even have me beat…

      Finding that balance is hard. And you’re right, a break is much needed, as hard as it is to leave Chazz’s side sometimes.

      Love you Dad. And thanks for the Dr.Sears discipline book (and a good talk.) I can’t wait to get a minute to read it!


  7. kat
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 10:50:03

    my new effective timeout weapon? an egg timer! when DD is in timeout, I set that timer and I tell her that she can come out of timeout when she hears the ding. If she continues the bad behavior, then I add one minute to her timeout. Works like a charm!


    • Forever&After
      Dec 23, 2010 @ 15:09:53

      The egg timer is such a good idea. A special timer of his own to watch during time outs. I’m saving this idea for when he hits the Terrible Two’s, thank you.

      Also I had read (somewhere…) to set the timer one minute for every year of age. That’s about all their attention span can handle!


  8. JDaniel4's Mom
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 14:27:08

    My almost three year old still has off days. We do a mixture of things.


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