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2 year old discipline Rss

I am finding it a real stuggle disciplining my 2 year old boy. When he misbehaves and I try and discipline him he just laughs, which makes me really mad!!! I don't know if I'm getting through to him. What I do is go down to his level to maintain eye contact and tell him "no" to stop doing what he's doing but he laughs at that. Please help, what can I do!!!!!

Mum to toddler

Hi Sammie

Sounds like you have a high spirited young man there!! and that is not all bad you know smile

Have you ever heard of Dr Louise Porter? I heard her speak once and have been a fan ever since - she has quite a few books on children and child behaviour - one being 'Children are People Too'.

At around 2 years old, kids are learning that they have a different agenda from yours! and saying 'NO' to you all the time, means they are becoming an individual and are well aware of it! Dr Porter says this is a very valuable developmental time!!! but to prevent always battling with them, give choices as much as possible - i.e. between two possible things that suit you ... and if there is not a choice, let them choose how they feel about it eg. "We have to leave right now, you can feel angry and upset if you want or you can feel OK with that, but we do have to go now."

She stresses that we don't want COMPLIANT children - but considerate children. To teach children to be obedient is dangerous both for them and others. -
1. they risk being abused [yes, sexually abused] if they just 'do what adults say'
2.they may grow to be the ones to follow peer pressure to bully [follow the dominant peer]
3. communities/countries are unsafe when one will not disobey the orders of leaders even if they are inappropriate orders.

We need to strive for guidance NOT control. Controlling is using punishment - AND praise - and neither work! Control aims to teach children just to comply with adult directives, not to do something becasue it is the RIGHT or considerate thing to do - and of course if we use punishment then we only stop the behaviour [if it does stop it] when we are around!

In the ABC archives you can listen to Louise Porter giving a very interesting talk [and answering some parents' questions] in your choice of media or read the transcript - just <a href="">CLICK HERE</a>.

I hope there is something there that will help you!

Just remember, kids aren't 'out to get us' or deliberately trying to make our lives difficult [you'd wonder though, sometimes, eh?!!] They are just learning about life and how to act and react - and they need us to be loving guides and leaders for them [as opposed to being The Boss!!] - I know, easier said than done!!

Good luck with it all!


Hi! I would definately get ontop of this one straight away as the longer you let him laugh in your face when he's done something you don't like, the worse it's going to get & pretty soon you'll have no control whatsoever.

What worked for us was the "Naughty corner". I don't know if you've seen the super nanny, but this is her method for discipline. Firstly find a good "naughty corner", somewhere you can still keep an eye on him but where there's no stimulants, you can also put a chair there or a mat to designate the spot (naughty chair, naughty mat etc). When he's misbehaving, give a warning & do as you have been and get down to his level with eye contact and tell him in a stern voice "(insert name), you DO NOT throw toys. That behaviour is unacceptable & if you do that again you're going to the naughty corner". Then get up and walk away.

If he does it again, place him in the naughty corner for 1 minute of every year he is (2 minutes for 2yrs old etc), and tell him why he's there"(insert name), you're in the naughty corner because mummy told you stop throwing toys and you continued to do it. Now you stay in the naughty corner for 2 minutes" & walk away.

If he keeps leaving the corner, chair etc .. tell him the first time "you need to stay in the naughty corner for 2 minutes!". If he continues, keep placing him back without speaking as then he's getting a reaction from you (you must remain calm & stern at all times).

After the 2 minutes, come down to his level again & explain to him again why he's there and that it is unacceptable behaviour. Then you must get him to say sorry to you "Now you need to say sorry to mummy", and don't let him out of the corner until he does. If he refuses, tell him it's another 2 minutes in the corner until he apologises. After it's all over, go back to being cheery and positive. You'll be surprised at how quickly this can work if done correctly, we've been doing it for about a year now and it works very well for us.

If you wanted to add another element to it, every time he goes to the naughty corner, you can take 1 toy away and put it in the "naughty box", and he only get's it back when he does something good. Can be anything from picking up some toys, doing something when you ask him to etc etc. And don't be scared to keep doing it until all the toys are gone, he'll get the idea pretty quickly!

It's worth a try anyway .... Good Luck & let me know how you go if you decide to try it.

Jaida (6), Ameli (2) & Lacey (2mths) - SA

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