3 Methods I Use to Discipline My Toddler

Let’s talk about discipline. Yes I said it, and I am aware this is a sensitive topic.  It’s almost like politics and religion. Bring up discipline in a room full of people and someone is likely to get offended, and maybe even violent in today’s world.  I mean no one wants to be that parent whose kid is out of control in the supermarket or some other public place.  But many have been and some more than once.  So I am going to tread this topic lightly…NOT!

Ways to Discipline Toddlers by 2groovymoms.com

I am no expert, I only have one daughter, and I have never conducted a study over a period of time. However, I do work with children every day and have done so for several years now so I have picked up a few things along the way. Unfortunately, what I have picked up is there is no one way to discipline a child, but they all crave it, so here are the 3 discipline methods that have worked for me.

1. Routine

Yes, children love to run wild and have fun and do whatever they want, but in the same breath they also want to follow a routine.  Children are happier, less cranky, and less likely to act out when they know what to expect and feel as though they have some control over their little lives.

Although the children that I work with have no concept of  it being 8:00 am or 10:00 am, they are happy when they can rely on routine. Once they get to school, they know they will eat, get cleaned up, dance, and have circle time IN THAT ORDER.  They are content knowing what comes next.  If I throw in something out of the norm, the children will be thrown completely off  schedule , and I would have to start doing back flips to bring them back.  Needless to say, I go home BEAT at the end of the day!

My daughter lives her life on a schedule because I do and if I try to deviate she will quickly bring me back.  If we are out after 8:00 pm she will say, “Mommy I’m dirty.”   In other words, she is ready for her bath. When she wakes up she uses the potty and is ready for breakfast with no if, and, or buts.  I think establishing these sorts of routines will help her easily deal with homework and chores when she gets older without me having to struggle with her as much.

2. Body Language

I have had people to tell me that my daughter appears to be very disciplined.  However, she is like any other child: she has her moments and she will try falling out or tell me no IF I let her.  The key to minimize  madness is to not let her get away with it even ONCE.

Children are similar to adults in that they like their own space.  I know I need my 3 feet of elbow room.  If an adult gets too close, I get defensive.  So, when my daughter is acting out, I find that when I violate her personal space, get down on her level and look into those cute little eyes and say “NO” in The Mom Voice or “Let’s make another choice” or heck whatever I say when I’m that close it works.  I mean if I even sense that she may be tempted to get upset or rebel I turn on that voice before she turns on her tantrum and I win.  The voice is not loud or obscene, but it is no-nonsense.

3. Consequences

Let’s say you have done #1 and #2 and frankly it’s  just not working today. Well, that’s when we have a problem! Again, children are little people and they love their vices just like adults do.   Toys, games, books, videos, fruit snacks — whatever it is your child probably has a vice.  And if you have a routine then your child has a certain time throughout the day when he or she wants to indulge in each vice. For example, my daughter loves to use the iPad while eating her fruit snacks and watching Caillou, all before story time and lights out EVERY NIGHT.  However, if she has to be disciplined because “The Mom Voice” did not work this time, all of her fun is snatched away.  Because she is a creature of habit, removing her toys is torture in itself and works almost every time.


These are just some of the methods that work for me. I know a lot of people who use timeout and I found that never worked for me so I tossed it long ago.  All children are different and sometimes you have to get creative with your child.  The bottom line is they all want and need discipline.  Whether you use corporal punishment or fear of the Lord, discipline helps to keep your child safe and help them function long-term throughout their lives into adulthood.

What are some methods you use when your child has a bad day or a tantrum?


  1. Adria J. Cimino says:

    Great post! I’ve been using the routine and consequences and you are right… they work. My daughter is generally well-behaved, but they all indeed have their moments. I sometimes don’t even have to get to the part of taking away toys. I can just say “If you continue, you won’t be able to play with such and such toy” and then she behaves!

  2. mommy2apirateandprincess says:

    Routine is a life saver in this house! I have found that when my kids are in the middle of a meltdown it is best to leave them alone. Not put them in time-out but give them space, but be ready for when they need that reassurance. You are so right in that every kid is different and there isn’t one ‘right’ way.

  3. Jessica says:

    These are great techniques. I agree that it is hard to give a time-out to a toddler that does not really understand the concept. I am in the midst of toddlerhood so this is helpful!

    Thank you for sharing on #smallvictoriessundaylinky! Pinned to the Small Victories Sunday Weekly Linky. Hope you join in next week!

  4. morewithlessmom says:

    I think it is very important to offer small children choices whenever possible. Sometimes these are small choices, like the red cup or the blue cup, but they empower the child and let them feel like they are in control. Hello from Weekends Are Fun.

  5. Paula Parker says:

    I agree with your blog, especially the routine. When you grow up you have to play well with others, respect others and have no temper tantrums. It’s easier to learn these things as a kid than when you are older. Less consequences too.

  6. Erlene says:

    Great tips on discipline. I have older kids and find that taking away their precious electronics seems to get through to them the most…lol.

  7. Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs says:

    I agree with morewithlessmom, choices work really well for us. My daughter is three and VERY independent/stubborn. If I really want her to do something and I even slightly sense there will be an issue, I immediately come up with a choice for her. For important things when I need her to cooperate, I usually offer the thing I want her to do vs something I KNOW she won’t choose. If it’s something less important I give an actual choice (what to wear, red cup vs blue cup, etc.) Works pretty much every time!

  8. It's Dog or Nothing says:

    I need to show this post to a family I babysit for sometimes. There is absolutely no discipline in the house and it drives me insane!

  9. Renee @ CreativeMamaMessyHouse says:

    These are great reminders! Our routine isn’t all that concrete, but I do believe that consistency in discipline and consequences is important. Mine definitely “walks all over” me, but listens to Daddy. Right now we are working on him going to bed in his toddler bed at a consistent time every night. He is one of those kids that never wants to sit still, so bedtime is tough!

We Love to Hear From You!