I hope you all read Jen’s posts titled “Tantrums of all Tantrums” Part One and Two. Her insightful tales of her children having tantrums reminds all of us moms that our children won’t always be perfect angels, especially in public.
I remember when my first little girl turned 18 months old, and I started to see hints of the terrible twos. And with my first child, I asked my doctor everything, from what to feed her to how to discipline her. I clearly remember asking my doctor about timeout as a tactic for a child Zoe’s age, and he told me that she was too young and would not understand the concept. I decided to try it anyway. And it worked. We would take Zoe away from the situation and place her on the stairs, tell her what she did wrong and keep her there for about one minute where she would cry but remain still. After repeating these over and over, she eventually got it and stopped doing certain things.
Fast forward three years, and I am at the same point again. Annie is now 18 months old, but much more devious than her sister at this age. She is into everything that is off limits. And the minute you tell her no, she takes off running through the house trying to hoard whatever it is that she is not supposed to have. And when you finally catch up with her, she throws herself on the floor and turns into rubber so that you can’t pick her up. So it is clear to me that she understands that she is doing something wrong.
Enter timeout. I know many moms try this and their children will not sit still during timeout at this age. Fortunately, I have another daughter who will sit in timeout and cry until we take her out. Annie understands that she is in trouble. But unlike her big sister, it doesn’t stop her from doing it again. In fact, Annie will now look at me prior to doing something wrong to make sure that I see her….then she runs. And instead of showing some remorse or sadness when in trouble, Annie cries out of madness, not with hurt feelings like her sister. (I can see tantrums in my future).
So I will plan on continuing down this path and see who has the stronger will. My guess is that Annie may win the battle every once in while, but hopefully with consistency timeout will prove to be successful.
I am sure that all of you smarty moms have great ideas/options for disciplining your children at this age. Let us know, because I would certainly love to hear them!