how to discipline a 2 year old
Discipline Techniques Toddler

How To Discipline A 2 Year Old

Learning how to discipline a 2 year old isn’t straight forward. Toddlers are notoriously hard to handle and with developmental changes, your job can go from hard to impossible.

The key to effective discipline is empathy and patience.

Related: Time Out For 2 Year Old

How To Discipline A 2 year Old That Doesnt Listen

Disciplining a toddler will never be one-size-fits-all.

Most toddlers learn to interact in similar ways. Through repetition and positive re-enforcement, you can understand how to discipline a 2 year old without yelling.

The key is consistency.

Most toddlers learn very quickly from their parents. This is great if you are a patient parent, but what if you have a short temper?

Toddlers inherit both the good and bad aspects of your character and this can be detrimental if left unchecked.

If you fail to focus on a structured discipline plan you’ll find yourself having to constantly battle with your toddler. This will be an uphill struggle as you battle to enforce rules and morals with a toddler that is seeking their own character and expression.

Learning how to discipline a 2 year old that hits is a good example. It’s an uphill struggle as you battle to enforce rules and morals to a toddler that is seeking their own character and expression.

How To Discipline A 2 Year Old: 3 Effective Ways

1. Listen and Empathy

Toddlers learn at an astonishing rate. However, they are not always able to communicate this to you.

With rules and regulations that seem never-ending and new and exciting things to learn it can be a very complicated world for a toddler.

When you take into account physical and mental changes, it’s not surprising that the terrible 2 stages affect most toddlers. We can, however, help the situation by listening and being empathic.

Take time to put yourself in your toddler shoes. You know your toddler more than any other person, so use this to your advantage.

Listen to their problems and frustrations without providing too many solutions. Be empathic in your interactions and caring in your choice of words:


‘Sweetie, I know it’s difficult to understand right now, but it’s important you know that the TV doesn’t go on until you eat your breakfast’

Learning how to discipline a 2 year old that doesnt listen requires being attentive to their specific wants and needs. Too often parents are so busy with the day to day routines that they forget to see the world from their toddler’s view.

Giving them some extra screen time on a busy day when you have 101 things to do won’t hurt them, as long as it’s not too regular and they start to expect.

This will help you learn how to discipline a 2 year old without yelling too.

2. Don’t smack or hit your toddler.

Research shows that smacking has the same amount of influence over your child then a naughty step punishment does.

Furthermore hitting your child is not solving the problem at hand. Rather it’s making it worse as your toddler realises that hitting is an acceptable way to express themselves.

You’ve heard the stories of siblings hitting one and other. Sometimes it is just innocent play but other times it has been copied.

After evaluating the reason you can sometimes tell that a parent may have hit the toddler in a rage, once or twice, and this has formed a pattern of acceptable behaviour.

Importantly, try to limit your toddler’s interaction with violence they witness on TV. Many cartoons the are PG still have a wide variety of aggression and violence that can sometimes go unnoticed.

This will help you to learn how to discipline a 2 year old that hits and even limit aggressive behaviour all together.

3. Ignore

This one usually has parents thinking your crazy, but stay with me.

The best way to help your child’s tantrum is to not engage in it. This means that it will eventually run out of steam.

In the temper tantrum state, most toddlers can’t be controlled and it is difficult to talk them out of a tantrum.

It is better to ignore the tantrum (whilst left in s safe place) and let the tantrum come to an end. Once it has, assure your child that you love them and carry on with your day.

Remember, you are not ingorning you, child. The tantrum is probably a cry for attention or a plea for help. Instead, you are ignoring the communication technique.

shouting, crying and kicking are not acceptable ways to communicate and by engaging in it you may be making things worse.

Instead, take a step back, let them cool down and then reinforce your rules once it is clear to do so.

Learning how to discipline a 2 year old involves knowing when to actively get involved and when to take a step out.

By taking these steps into consideration you’ll jump-start your parenting techniques and engage in more proactive parenting that will eventually prompt self-discipline!

Ava Miller

Mom of 2 who enjoys blogging, travelling, cooking and spending time with Taylor & Olivia

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