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Q&A:
How can I discipline my 2-year-old without using time outs?

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Question


I was using time outs to discipline our 2-year-old when he did something he knew he shouldn't. We were putting him in the playpen for the time outs. But now he can climb out of the playpen. I need another option to show him that when he disobeys there are consequences.

Answer


Time out is a very effective form of discipline for a toddler. It gives him (and you) a chance to cool off. However, the best way to influence a child's behavior is not by punishing him when he does something you don't like, but by paying extra attention when he does something you do like. In other words, catch your son being good, not just being bad. I'm a bit concerned that you may be expecting too much of your son at this age. It's both natural and healthy for a 2-year-old to be a bit defiant and to say "No!" to everything and everyone. Don't take it personally. By talking to other parents of toddlers and reading some books about toddlers (I recommend anything by T. Berry Brazelton or Fred Rogers), you'll gain some perspective.  
 
 
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