Saturday, January 16, 2010

Disciplining a Two Year Old in Public

When we have discipline problems at home, I use SuperNanny’s usual method – a warning, followed by two minutes in time out (in his crib, so he can’t get out or get into anything), followed by an explanation of why he was in there and a hug.

But what to do when one is not at home? I had issues with River not listening to me today. I won’t make empty threats because I think that will make things tougher in the long run. If I threaten something, I have to follow through. I could make a naughty area, but it’s hard to explain to a two-year-old that they have to stay in one place, and then to enforce it while other people are looking (and perhaps 2-year-old is screaming and annoying said others).

Without any effective discipline measures, I felt like I was receiving a lot of disapproving looks. At one point, when he threw a piece of coal on a tour for a second time (after receiving a warning) I left the tour with him (which was more of a punishment for me than for him) and put him in a time out on a bench. He couldn’t get down from the bench, so he did stay there. But he called out “Down! Down! Down!” for almost the entire two minutes and I’m sure people were wondering why I wasn’t responding.

I’m sure many others have dealt with this before. How do you keep your toddler in line when you are in public? How do you enforce the home rules (Ie. you must listen to your mother) outside the home? How do you deal with the reactions you get from others?

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