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The Terrible Three's

Question

My 33 month old has recently begun yelling all of his responses. He gets frustrated very easily and says, “Stop! Stop it, mommy!” and “Goooosh!” "No!" is his favorite word, and now he yells it. When giving him directions (ex. come sit down to eat), he decides to continue doing what he’s doing and yells "NO!" very loudly when asked again. What discipline can I use? Do I put him in time out each and every time he yells or is defiant? How long do I put him in time out? Thank you!

Answer

I am with you on this one! My daughter went through the two's like a dream. I was like, "Wow, I got this. No terrible two's"! Then she woke up on her third birthday. Literally, she woke up on her third birthday full of little belligerent demons.

Time out only works on kids who behave - it is the least effective method out there. Ignore the outbursts the best you can. If he is yelling somewhere he shouldn't (church, restaurant, etc.), remove him immediately. At home, ignore him - completely take away his audience by leaving the room. If he tells you "no" after a direct request, move him to what you said to do. If he is "in a mood" or has a tantrum, put him in his room until he calms down. If he acts out doing something fun, take him home or stop doing it. Be prepared to leave an activity, so don't trap yourself with expenses or ride with someone else to the park, etc. Ignore him until he uses the correct tone of voice. Be ready to respond swiftly or not at all. It only lasts a few months. You will get through this - just don't let him see you sweat!
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Melinda S. Norris, Certified Leadership Parent Coach
msn4566@gmail.com

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