This could probably be a TFT, but I figured since its on my mind I’d post it today.
Those of you with toddlers… what forms of discipline/rewards systems/punishment etc do you use? I’m asking because I’m interested in trying different methods with Porter to see if there is another way that is better suited for him. He’s a good kid, and most of his behavior problems are related to his age, but sometimes I wonder if I could be doing something different to make matters better.
Here are the things we do:
1. The main thing we use is counting. Typically we use this if he is stalling or dawdling. He doesn’t like to be counted and we’ve gotten to the point where I can say “Do I need to count you?” and he’ll get his butt in gear. If it does get to the counting, we usually only make it to two and he’ll begin to do what is asked of him. I do slack a bit as I probably should always give him a consequence ahead of time (ie… if I count to 3, you’ll be in a time out etc.)… sometimes I just jump into counting and I don’t let him know what will happen if I get to 3… but we rarely get to 3, so I guess that’s ok.
2. Time outs…. if he’s too rough or loud or does something totally inappropriate he’ll have a time out. We don’t always give warnings before a time out (such as if he hits the dog etc…) but we try to give a warning before punishment. We don’t have a specific time out spot- its usually just wherever. Which works great for us as we can do a time out in a store if needed as he’s not biased to any one specific spot.
3. Bedroom time outs.. if he starts to throw a tantrum or is crying over something (typically when he’s not getting his way), we just say “Go to your room. Go to your room and you can come out when you’re done.” He’ll usually stop right away and say “I’m done!”, but there are times where he does get sent to his room and stays there for awhile.
I’d like to try some sort of reward chart for good behavior…. although I’m not sure what would work best for this age. I am not sure if it should be something where he earns stickers on a chart and then at the end of the day/week gets a reward or if it should be something where he starts out with a certain amount of stickers etc and he loses one with bad behavior and will earn a reward if he keeps “x” amount of them by the end of the day/week. I don’t really have a specific behavior to do this for (although staying in bed at naptime/bedtime would be a good idea)… I’d basically like to try to tame toddler tantrums, not listening, getting into things that aren’t his (and we all know he is famous for that…).
I have lots of ideas for older kids… in school we use the stoplight system… each child has a red, yellow and green light on their black index card and they all start out on green. They move to yellow if they misbehave and then to red which means they would stay in for recess. I’m not sure if something like this would be grasped by a 2.5 year old?
What do you use? Does anyone have any suggestions?