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I have a 4 yr old son and do not believe in spanking. I have been using Love and Logic discipline techniques. I like the book because it gives an understanding of why kids do some of the things they do and therefore gives a better understanding of what might work along with many proactive techniques.

Example of logical consequence for a 2 year old throwing food is to make them clean it up. Now obviously they are not going to do a great job of it but the action and time spent taking responsibility for their actions is a real life lesson. At age 4 he has a good grasp of what responsible is.

What does love and logic say when they throw food then next you tell them they have to clean it up… but your child tell you no? Then what? This is exactly my problem too!


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Parenting is hard. I am understanding my role more fully by really really really studying what Janet writes and speaks about here. How would they know what the boundaries were if they never tested them? I work to understand what it means to be the CEO. I had a very different childhood, so I am learning to undo what I witnessed and experienced and practice what I see as getting the most beautiful loving results: my daughter is so much more calm, happy, cheerful, playing independently. Loving toward me. I just yelled today, after an amazing evening of keeping myself in the state of mind necessary …..

I flipped: go to your room and sit on your bed! I called her back down and had her pick up the mess and the mess in the playroom and said stuff like, We are not raising you this way! It all lasted under a minute and I went to porch to breathe. And then I held compassion for me, so I could back track and see where I forgot to get enough help and I saw the busy morning and how I was the only one here: I am alone the majority of the time. I also tried to do too much this morning. And see where I can get some help. I also sat with my daughter and went over what I could have done differently.

I apologized for scaring her. We are connected, again. Be close to your child and help show them what you want to them to do without being angry. The only thing that works lately is threatening to take away his favorite toy if he repeats the negative behavior again I give him one warning and then follow through. I feel like a broken record though.

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I threaten to take away the same toy over and over and over throughout the day but it usually works. Does this sound like the right course of action? Is that normal toddler behavior?! Not sure how to correctly handle… Thanks SO much!

What to expect from your 2-year-old?

Kate — I would focus on acknowledging his feelings and desires… because these are what drive his behavior. In other words, connect with your boy, rather than just trying to manage his behavior. Be on his team , acknowledge and accept him, and he will stop.

I agree…. Thus you are preventing the negative behaviour by stopping them from throwing for example without shaming them.


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  7. Great article. I have a 6 year old boy, do you have any article specific for discipline year kids, especially boys? I have been blamed for being too soft in it… Thanks, Helen.

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    Thanks, Helen. The thoughts I share in this article and my book would still apply to a 6 year old. I really dnt want to spank him anymore I dnt want him to get used to that and be violent in the future.. This is fear-driven behavior… he feels overwhelmed and out of control. This is very likely because he does not feel safe with the people he needs most to help him… his parents. It happens at home too. How can his feelings be addressed? How should he be disciplined?

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    I feel so clueless. Children need our help in these situations: guiding them, stopping them physically, but calmly and kindly.

    watch I share many more details in my book, No Bad Kids, and in my many posts on discipline. Punishing creates fear and distance between us and, therefore, more uncomfortable behavior. If you can be more specific about the behavior and how you are responding to it, I can advise in more detail. It would be helpful if you would provide the things he does in the stressful situations, as well.

    A commenter on the second article mentioned that the emotion coaching method does not work in the immediate situation, but after giving their son a bit to calm down, they can talk, and work through the situation. I have a 3 year old daughter who I love more than anything, but can work me up into a ball of anger. I recently had another baby, and have not been able to spend the time with my 3 year old that I have in the past.

    I understand that she acts out when she needs attention, and I know that I am not responding in the correct ways. Often times, she will wake the baby up when I beg her to quiet down, which will cause me to yell, and send her to bed for a nap. She then screams, which I attempt to correct by telling her if she is going to scream I will close her door. I let her know that crying is ok, but not screaming. I am at my wits end. I am trying so hard to balance a new baby, and her, and the home, and I find myself being short with her, and not wanting to spend time with her playing because it was a long day, with the baby getting no naps, and temper tantrums Her dad left us, and is no longer around, and right after the baby was born.

    So confused. I dont want my relationship with my daughter to continue to deteriorate. Hi Mandy. I find myself either being too lenient with her, or too harsh. What did you come up with?