How do you discipline a toddler?


In the years prior to having Myla, my husband and I would chat about the future and of course children. We would discuss our favourite names, what sports they would play, how many we wanted to have and who the disciplinarian would be. Every time we would have these conversations I was confident that I would be the hard arse of the house. If it was good cop, bad cop time I would always be the bad cop. Well, 1 year and 3 months into the role and that theory I had all those years ago is rapidly diminishing. I know that at 15 months it may be a bit premature to freak out, but, I am being dominated by an 11 kilogram toddler. Shopping trip meltdowns have a 100% success rate and I have no idea how to handle it.

Is my toddler bossing me around?

When I say bossing me around I mean, bossing me around! So far I have tried to raise Myla tough. I want her to stand her ground and push back when pushed. I don’t want her to be a bully but I certainly don’t want her to be the bullied. I have encouraged her to play rough, get her hands dirty and wrestle with the boys. I did not anticipate the mini boss I have created. I did not brace myself for the reality that she would stand her ground against me! I didn’t think my toddler would end up bossing me around!

Little Miss Attitude.

Little Miss Myla has attitude with a capital A. She is feisty, cheeky and utterly adorable. The attitude that I am receiving lately is cute, hilarious and scary AF. I am in unfamiliar territory and haven’t got a clue where to go from here. I thought the baby stage was tough…that was nothing compared to the toddler I have on my hands. Don’t get me wrong, she is a good girl and we love each other fiercely but; she knows what she wants and won’t let anyone tell her otherwise (especially me). Her little personality is adorable and the attitude she displays is equally as funny but, I don’t want to laugh it off now and pay for it later. I need to nip Little Miss Attitude in the bud early…but how do you discipline a toddler?

The word ’No’.

There are 3 possible reactions I get daily from the word no. Stage 1: A frown followed by a shake of the index finger in my face (yep, my toddler shakes her finger at ME). Stage 2: A scream and smack (uh huh; my toddler gets physical). Stage 3: Meltdown. I am talking crying, screaming, head throw back and body on the floor meltdown. When you are uttering the word ‘no’ 80% of the day, this becomes a problem. How do you enforce limitations on a toddler?

Is it too soon to discipline?

Some may say that it is way too soon to discipline her and that I am prematurely freaking out but I have to disagree. I keep telling myself that she is only little, and doesn’t understand, but I no longer believe that. She understands everything! There are times I will tell her she isn’t allowed to touch something, five minutes later she will be back touching, I will say her name, she will drop the forbidden object and run the other way. I mean come on, caught in the act and making a run for it –100% guilty and she knows it.

How do you discipline a toddler?

So how do you discipline a toddler? Are you the mum who ignores the meltdown and walks away? Do you tell her no and take the object away from her? Do you tell her no and give her a little smack? I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I really haven’t got a clue. I didn’t expect this behaviour until 2! I didn’t expect the resistance I am faced with. If anything Myla listens to me the least! It wouldn’t be a problem if we stayed indoors every day, but shopping trips are quickly becoming daunting. I have become ‘that’ mother in the store with the screaming child kicking up a stink because I won’t give her what she wants. Maria 5 years ago would be judging the shit out of me if she saw me now. Help! How do you discipline a toddler?


One thought on “How do you discipline a toddler?

  1. I started to properly discipline my daughter at around the 18 month mark. She was pretty good most of the time prior to this but at 18 months she started to become defiant and her listening starting becoming ‘optional’.
    I firstly started by asking her to stop the behaviour. If she didn’t stop I’d then advise that if she continued she’d be placed in the naughty corner. Again, if she didn’t listen I would immediately pick her up and place her in the corner.
    If she cried, screamed, slammed herself against the floor it didn’t matter because she would not be addressed by me in any fashion.
    If she tried to get up and walk away I’d immediately pick her up and place her back in the corner again, and again no word from me except ‘sit’.
    Even if she tried to get up 5 times it didn’t matter because again I’d just pick her up and place her back there. Eventually she understood that each time she get up, mummy put her back! Once she eventually settled and sat quietly (I use a minute to age ratio) I’d then ask her to come over to me and I would ask her if she understood why mummy put her there. If she understood, you say that’s right, if not, it doesn’t matter you tell her what she did wrong. I then follow with a hug and kiss and let her go.
    My daughter turns 3 in a few days and if I picked her up on every cheek she gave me I’d be doing nothing but staring at her in a corner all day. That’s when you start picking your battles and decide which ones warrant a naughty corner visit. I also do the 1-2-3 method now and you’ll find as they get older they stop the behaviour by 3 so that they don’t get put in the corner. Hope it helps some, best of luck! x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s