No Clue..Why doesn't time out work?

My son is two. Often he begins to get out of control for no reason. He hits and bites his mother. We put him in his room and tell him he can come meet us when he stops crying. He stays in his room for 30 to 45 min. crying and screaming. His spells last about 1 hour at a time. Nothing seems to work with him.


Dr Maud Answers:

Distraction is a good strategy. Stop the full blown tantrum before it starts. Find something else to do.

If using Time Out, remember the '3 strikes and you're out approach' - ie. don't forget the warnings.

Only put your grandson in his room for 2 minutes (1 minute per year of age). You shouldn't let him out at the height of a tantrum but listen for the moment he settles down a bit. All children have a pause to breathe and when things are a bit quieter at this time, you can finish "time out".

Your grandson doesn't have to apologize when he comes out of time out but he just has to be reasonable. If not, he gets further warnings about time out and if he needs 3 warnings, it's back to time out for another 2 minutes (or until he settles a bit if he's still in the middle of a tantrum).

If you are consistent, then this behavior will cease. I suspect at the moment that everyone doesn't react in the same way.

If you prefer to listen than read information, then you can hear about great ways to change your child's behavior and avoid the terrible two's with an audio course called "Talking to Toddlers" - click here. The audio course not only gives strategies for dealing with a willful two year old, but it gives strategies for communicating more effectively with all ages.

All the best.


A little advice for No Clue..


by Just Jess

I'm not a professional but I do have expertise w/7 kids of my own. A lot of toddlers act out when they can't tell you how they feel or that they have had enough of something.
You should try to see if it really is something particular that set him off. Next time it happens write down what time of day/night and if certain things were going on, like a certain T.V. show, a specific noise/word or the weather.
Also, try to see if you can distract him when he starts to get out of control. Instead of sending him to his room (which could scare him because at 2 he doesn't understand everything that he is feeling/doing) Try to distract him with an activity he LOVES. For example, when you notice it starting say "Billy, do you want to help Mommy make cupcakes?" or "Let's go outside and feed the birds."
This works well with my 2 year old. He loves to "help" me do everything including wash the dishes and make dinner. It is o.k. if they make more of a mess than help. It is spending time with you and what they learn from doing it.
The happiest families often have messy floors and HAPPY KIDS. I hope this helped. Good luck.




Help a Grandmother please



I have a two year old Grandson - his Mother and him live with me. My Grandson is just mean. He hit's constantly, pinches, and kicks. We have tried many methods of discipling him, telling him no, time out, putting him in his crib, which he climbs right back out of. My 3 children were never like this when they were growing up. I am at my wits end as is his Mother. I have told her not to give him sugar, or anything with red dye, but nothing works. He climbs on things, as in chairs, jumps off them, and has literally no fear.He is like the energizer bunny on speed...Any suggestions would help.

Dr Maud Answers

It is unlikely that your grandson is mean natured. He is just acting out. There are a number of pages on the site that may help you.


1. Understanding his behavior as a first start to changing it - see Toddler Discipline


2. For hitting and biting, in particular, see the Hitting and Biting page

Another great resource is the Talking to Toddler audio set - I think it gives great advice. Click Here! to read more.

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