2-year-old Discipline

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  1. Hi there.

    I don't have kids (yet!), but am babysitting a 2-year-old twice a week all day each time. Usually she is a good kid, but as she gets older she's had a few outbursts. For instance, I took her out a couple of times and one time she REFUSED to put on her winter coat and collapsed on the floor in a tantrum as if I were torturing her. Sometimes she tells you to "stop it" when changing her diaper or will put her hands in the dirty diaper after you tell her not to. :Push:

    I used to babysit another two-year-old, but he had older brothers and sisters so he understood the "time out" concept. This girl will be the oldest (she has a brother on the way) and hasn't been introduced to that concept...so the counting to a time out doesn't work....plus I don't want to start something the parents aren't doing.

    They say she does the same thing to them, but haven't really offered any advice on how to fix it.

    Anyone have ideas?
  2. The best thing is to be consistent. Our daughter is almost 2 and she occasionally has tantrums, but thankfully not that often. Try and keep your cool, even though you think that you're about to explode from frustration. If she's pitching a fit, I'll just ignore it unless she's doing something that's going to hurt herself. I'll go back and check on her, talk to her calmly and try and help her calm down.

    Since you're not the parent in this situation I would ask her parents what they thing is good and effective for their daughter. I wouldn't start introducing methods like time out without discussing it with the parents first
  3. Well, someone needs to discipline the child, so you can start it and then teach them. You'll be doing them a favor (and the child).

    There are two different kinds of fits I've discovered. Ones that kids will stop once they realize that nothing will change and ones where they will literally scream/cry for an hour if you don't intervene.

    With my oldest. I just told him that we have to go and a fit won't help. He could yell and scream, but he still had to put on his coat (or whatever). After 5 minutes, he usually realized he wasn't winning and would stop and woefully comply. After a few of these fits, it stopped.

    With my younger one though. Once he gets into a tizzy, he can't seem to come out of it on his own. So, with him I would have to pick him up off the floor and hold him or just force the coat on him and haul him out the door and strap him in the car seat. It was awful, but he also got the message pretty quickly that it didn't work.

    With the poo and diaper. I would try to make it impossible for her to grab (I know, I know..) and then I would grab her hand when I saw it approaching the "forbidden zone" and sternly say no while looking into her eyes. Or as a quick get a attention, a quick, light slap on the hand to divert it before disaster, but with her not being your own child you might want to discuss that with the parents first.
  4. My daughter does the diaper thing. You just have to keep pushing her hands away and telling her "yucky" until she gets the point.

    My daughter is 20 months old and I plan to start potty training this week. Tell the parents to get their 2 year old potty trained!
  5. #5 Jan 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
    firstly you need to bring it up to the parents and then offer some of the advice that you have been given here.

    i would walk away from her when she is throwing the tantrum. and come back in a few minutes and check on her. i know that can be a pain if you are trying to get out the door.

    **and is she in just a diaper or is she wearing pants and still puts her hand/s in her dirty diaper?
  6. I came back to add that you could try putting something in her hands to keep them occupied while you change her diaper. Anything with buttons seems to work well for my daughter.
  7. Thanks all for the great advice!

    The diaper thing only happens when she's being changed.....it never happens when she's wearing clothes or even traipsing around the house in just a diaper and shirt.
  8. Not all kids are ready to potty train at 2 years old. If they don't get it yet, you can't train for it. My oldest trained right before his 2nd birthday in a day. My second child trained right around his 3rd birthday and it was a 2 month ordeal. We tried earlier with him, but he just wasn't ready.
  9. Yea I know. But if this girl is ready and the parents do it then that fixes her hands in the diaper while changing poo problem! Thats all I meant. 2 is the normal age and she doesn't say how many months exactly the girl is.
  10. My peds said not to even start trying until age two... Most kids are 2 or 3. Some as old as 4 and that has nothing to do with parents being lazy about it (though I think some are).
  11. I thought it was strange of my peds office and I think they only say that because a lot of kids aren't ready and so pushing too early can lead to them resisting it when they are ready...

    I didn't follow it because I knew from first time through that there are ways to see if they are understanding when they go and such.
  12. The girl I sit for is exactly 24 months. They have a potty for her and such, but aren't pushing it. She said something about the potty the other day and I thought she meant she wanted to try to go in it, but I decided to leave that up to her parents.

    The boy I sat for who is a year older than she is, didn't start potty training until almost age 3....although boys sometimes take longer.
  13. Call in the reserves. This little cherub (she looks like a Gap model or something out of an Anne Geddes photo) BIT ME! The parents said this is the first time she's ever bit ANYONE. I got the honor....
  14. ^LOL. Did she do it out of anger?