Desperately Seeking Parenting Advice | Dealing with “No” and Timeouts
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Desperately Seeking Parenting Advice | Dealing with “No” and Timeouts

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Whoever said that parenting was the hardest job in the world, and the most rewarding was absolutely right. Lately my husband and I have been dealing with some hard times in the parenting department.

How do you deal with a child who won’t listen to you.. who despises the word “No” and throws a monstrous fit every time he hears it?

This is something my husband and I are trying to figure out and we are pulling our hair out while trying to do it…

My son has just turned 4 and timeouts in his room have turned into a fit while throwing everything in his room at the door, screaming at the top of his lungs and kicking the door with his feet. I can see this becoming a big problem as he gets older and we are loss of what to do.

We’ve taken Love & Logic classes before and they worked when he was little, maybe we need to retake the course?

Do you have a child who is like this when they don’t get their way?

How do you handle this situation in your home?

– Desperately seeking relief in the parenting department

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About the author

Amanda

Hi! I'm Amanda, a Kansas City Lifestyle Blogger, mom of two little people, social media addict, travel junkie with a slight obsession to baking and fitness.

28 Comments

  • So I am curious if you have found anything that works?? My daughter will be 3 in two months and lately she has been screaming, saying ‘no’ to everything, and just being generally defiant. I feel like i’ve lost my sweet little girl at times! It’s so frustrating. I’m not sure if it is a phase or my parenting is failing!! I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. If you have tips or found a trick let me know!

  • My daughter is only 17months old and she has started acting out like crazy, I find myself without answers and many times feeling like a bad parent. I recently begun doing time outs and I am hoping for a positive outcome. I have come to realize that I am not as patient as I once considered myself. I Definetly have no answers but it’s good to know we don’t struggle alone.

  • My daughter is starting in the terrible Two’s & I tell her “No” and looks at me with a smile & says “HI”…LOL Thank you for this blog…

  • We always tried not to use the word no with my son and although he doesn’t do that, he is 3 and we are dealing with the tantrum issue. I think all you can do is remain consistent as much as it stinks (I know firsthand). I mean it can be tough in public, etc, but I am not sure what else to do either. He loses special things and we talk about it once we calm down. That is the only think I know what to do

  • Time out in the corner…no tv, no videos, no gadgets, no books, no toys… no, not even the blankie.
    Plus the longer you scream and act out, the longer we ignore you and the longer the duration of the time out.

    Keep your word…otherwise everything becomes negotiable.

  • Hey there Mommy!

    I am sorry you are having a hard time right now with your 4-year old. My husband and I were having a hard time with our two-year old boy with temper tantrums and disobeying. We were doing timeouts, but they just weren’t working either. After a lot of soul searching and a good chat with a friend, we decided to spank our child. A lot of folks are horrified when I say “spank” but it really works for us and our son. The one thing I am sure to do however, is NEVER EVER spank when I am angry. I also use a wooden spoon (never my hand because I associate my hands with more loving gestures) and give my son a verbal warning that if he doesn’t change his behavior, he is going to get a spank. Or I will tell him, he needs to make a better choice or else he’ll get a spank. I spank him somewhere private (in my bathroom) and always give him lots of hugs and kisses afterwards. I also chat with him about why he got a spank.

    I think kids really need boundaries, in fact…I’ve discovered that my little guy has been a lot more lovey dovey with us since we started the spanking. I think that is because he knows that he is safe within those boundaries.

    I hope my experience can help you in some way. Good luck!

  • My little one will turn 2 tomorrow, and her favorite word is NO. Wow, it such so hard to do a negotiation when she already said NO. I desperately needs some advice too, how to dealing with NO word, :(

  • Well my grandson like the word NO and refuses time outs. I usually tell him no unless – eat your lunch or let me cut your fingernails something I want him to do as a trade for and he ususally will do what I originally want him to do. Some days I just walk away and let him throw his tantrum on the floor and go back in a few minutes and hes almost always done with his fit and realizes it didnt faze me at all. Parents and grandparent have to be on the same page mostly . But of course us grandparents are always told we spoil them LOL

  • Different children respond differently to any one technique. I think the main thing is to make sure your son understands the reason behind time-out or whatever other technique you try. Sometimes when you ask children a question like “Why do you think I want you to [do whatever method you choose] ?” you might be surprised by their answers. The way an adult views a problem is different from the way children view it. Some children feel empowered when they are involved in choosing a discipline method. The most important part is that they must understand that these techniques are meant to teach them a certain behavior, not a punishment to cause hurt. I hope this helps.
    Esther recently posted..Does Your Child Hate School?

  • This is a toughie! I like the ‘love and logic’ books but to be honest it can be difficult w/ a strong willed 4 yr old. (My daughter was like that and just wouldn’t listen and definitely didn’t want to stay in time out!) I’ve watched ‘Supernanny’ who says to make sure you are firm and that you stick by the time out routine-continually putting the child in time out over and over until they stay there for the allotted time. I know it’s difficult now, but just remember it won’t last forever! I’ve been there so I totally get it. :)

    annae07 at aol dot com

  • Ok these comments are freaking me out. My son is only 10 months old and already throws massive tantrums, shakes his head “no” and says “n-n-n-n-a” (trying to say no) as he shakes his head when he doesn’t want something (food, being changed etc.) I’m worried he’s going to be a tough cookie for my husband and I as he gets older.
    Vanessa Coker recently posted..Eco Baby Mama Drama – Babykicks Giveaway

  • My grandson just turned 2 years old and has just recently learned the word no. I have to be very persistent with him and he knows my decision is not going to budge. That’s the key!

  • I am sorry I don’t have any advice to give… I haven’t been dealing with this issue… yet. I hope it gets better for you. I am dealing with the 4 yr old who is trying to come and sleep in mom and dad’s bed everynight. Maybe if I can get some sleep I can come up with something helpful for you. Hang in there.
    Dana J Valle recently posted..Happy New Year !!!

  • I’m not a parent so please don’t listen to anything I say, if you don’t want to. However I was raised in a household where if mom or dad said no that was the end of it and if we threw a tantrum we got spanked. My sister was 11 years younger than me so I also saw my parents use the same parenting techniques on her. I can honestly say I rarely remember her having a meltdown, because she knew that if she threw a fit when a parent said no, she would get in trouble.
    If you are against corporal punishment and wouldn’t consider it even in minor ways – i.e. a slap on the hand – then I’d say focus on instilling respect in your kids. When you say no and they throw a fit, tell them that you are the parent and they must obey you because God says for children to obey their parents and they will be blessed.
    this is just my .02 again but i think letting the kid get so upset that he throws things in his room is letting him take his emotions too far. if he gets in that bad of a rage maybe you should go in and stop him, tell him that if he throws things you will take them away for a week or something. Its not good for kids to be without consequences for tantrums.
    anyway, just my thoughts, hope I didn’t offend anyone too much!

  • Mine is only two and he loves no. I don’t know what to do about it either. I hope he grows out of it when he learns to communicate better.

  • I wish I had to magic advice to help you.. but I don’t think I do. My son is 3 1/2 and will say no and has fits sometimes. Mostly I just have conversations with him before the fit and talk about expectations. I let him know what I expected and when he goes outside those expectations then I remind him and let him know that he needs to follow the rules or he will go to time out. Often he listens, but when he doesn’t I take him to time out. I follow through as much as I can and we always talk about what happened, what I expect, and why. Most the time it works, but sometimes it has to be where he has a fit and I just let him.
    fancygrlnancy recently posted..Happy Birthday to a Wonderful Husband!!

  • i have 3 little guys 4,3 and 17 mo. i can completely relate, my 3 yr. despises the word no, and throws a fit when we try timeouts, or when we do anything that he doesnt agree with. The only thing that has been working is getting eye level with him and compromising with him, if i just say no he flies off the handle. good luck!

  • I was going to suggest 1,2,3 Magic and I see it’s already been suggested. My understanding was a wee bit different. At first, you do give the child a reason. If, for example, they ask for a cookie you might say “no you may not because dinner is very soon.” It helps if they know why. Then when they ask again, you simply say “That’s 1″ and NOTHING more. Ask again, “That’s 2″ and nothing more. (The key is in the nothing more. They want you to engage, and as soon as you do, you’ve lost ground. You’ve already given them the answer and the explanation.) The next time, you say “That’s 3. Take 5 (and nothing more). It might mean that you have to silently carry the child to time out.

    And I think (and I don’t recall this in the book, but it’s been a long time) that if my child were tearing the room apart, I’d figure out a plan B. Time out in bathroom, on a stool in hallway, etc. Or take things out his room. If child is in the room and refuses to stay, you just have to stand in hallway and hold door closed.

    After a couple times of this not engaging on your end, they’ll realize when you say “That’s 1″ that it’s gonna get them no where.
    Wendy T recently posted..Shining

  • I have taken Love & Logic also only for my 15 yr old son who has a mental illness. It was a great class but I think it was geared more towards younger children though some of the techniques did work well for my son because he is mentally under developed and does not act like a 15 yr old. The word “no” is a MAJOR problem for him. He will smash his face on the wall, or break other things. So what I learned in love and logic was not to use the word no as it was an automatic trigger. Now when he asks, “Can I go to my friends house?” I say “Sure, right after your room is clean.” Sometimes that will turn into him not being able to go until the next day because he takes that long to clean his room. However if I were to tell him “No you can’t go until your room is clean.” All he is going to hear is the word “no” and the room will never get cleaned. Also the reverse psychology works well with him. If I feel he is going to hit his head on the wall, I tell him “Why don’t you hit your head on the wall? I am sure it will make you feel a lot better!” Since he is NOT about to do anything I tell him to do, he won’t hit his head on the wall. He thinks he is being defiant but I am getting what I want in the end. Also by telling them to do it you throw them into a state of confusion where they are really not sure what to do, then they forget what they were going to do in the first place. Try it with your son! I am telling you it works! Next time he gets ready to throw a fit, tell him to do it.
    Angela Michels recently posted..About Me

  • I look first at what could be the cause of the tantrum. Are the tired? Are they feeling left out of something? Or is it just trying to test boundaries?
    For most of these something we’ve begun doing is “Alone Time”. Especially with our oldest (5yo). She can take a book or a few toys and sit on our bed with the door shut. She gets time away from her sisters to do what she wants, while calming down as well.
    We also use a system called Daddy Dollars. The kids earn Daddy Dollars when they do chores and different things throughout the day. If they throw tantrums though, daddy dollars get taken away. At the end of the week there is a mommy market they can spend their daddy dollars in.
    Good luck!
    Adelina Priddis recently posted..A look back through 2011

  • I have two five year old girls. One of them, for the most part, listens when she’s told what to do, the other has a “hearing” problem. Her favorite saying is ‘I don’t know.’ We tried sending to her room for time outs, but she would just crawl in bed and go to sleep. Now, I will take a chair and put it in the middle of the room and make her sit in it for timeout. She can’t stand that, she will fidget, fuss, and do her best to be as pitiful as she can be. We do the counting, to 5, and most of the time that is all it takes to get them moving/listening. They both have their moments, but so far the timeout chair works.

  • I have a two year old that is really starting to act out too. We are just starting to use time outs. He cries and thinks it is the worst thing ever. I fear that by they time he is four time out may not have much of an effect. My daughter was completely different I rarely had to give her time outs. I wish I did have better advice for you. I can tell you one parenting blog I came across that has helpful hints though. I subscribe to his emails and have found them helpful. http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com/
    Denise Taylor recently posted..CVS Trip 1/2/2012

  • This really is a tough age and even tougher for you as a parent to know what to do! When my children were this age I would use time-out (the length would be one minute per each year of age) and to also remove prized possessions for a 24 hour period if the time-out didn’t work. My grandson is four & my daughter seems to deal with this now daily. Her solution is to send him upstairs to his room until HE deems it time to return with a better attitude & if this does not work she then uses the time-out method. It just seems as though they turn four and become melodramatic!! I know the last thing you want to hear is that it doesn’t last forever but it doesn’t.

  • Have you read the 1,2,3…erm, something book? Crap, I just know it starts with 1,2,3 and the entire premise is that by now your child understands your expectations and so you “count” them. No explanation, no dialogue, just very cool and calm. You get to 3 and they have a trip to their room for the requisite period of time. Again, no dialogue. I remember a rather lengthy part of the book revolving around a kiddo who would then tear their entire room apart…and the way to resolve the problem made quite a lot of sense to me. I *still* “count” my old children who know, by now, that when I say “2” I am willing to hit “3” and I won’t give in, or argue, or debate. My 4 year old still winds up at 3 on occasion, but it has lessened (and works MUCH BETTER when I refuse to engage in emotional fits myself).
    My Mercurial Nature recently posted..The Definition of Mercurial

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