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How do I tame my 2 1/2 year old daughters behavior?

Megan Smock Posted

How do I tame my 2 1/2 year old daughters behavior?

Britney Nix

I have a son that is 2 1/2 and he is just right and left with attitude. I have found that the only way i can “tame” his attitude is putting him in his room in his “time out” spot. Of course he doesn’t sit there long but once he sits his attitude stops. You have to be firm but not mean. Add a little firmness to your voice that way your child knows when you are serious. The attitude will never go away because after all they are 2 and they are just figuring out what they can do.


Give praise when your child acts in an acceptable manner. This is referred to as positive reinforcement. It is a type of operant conditioning. I think you should focus more on teaching her how to act, and focus less on how not to act. Of course, bad behavior must be addressed, but if you steadily reinforce good behavior you should see improvement. Please remember your child is at an age where exploring boundaries is completely normal. She is testing what is okay to do, and what is not. Please remember to be patient! Good luck!


Hmmm… How to tame your two year old’s behaviour.

Not sure if taming is the best way to describe my suggestions and it really does depend on the kinds of behaviour you are referring to. 

We all know that raising children is the most challenging job in the world but is also the most rewarding. Children are alway pushing and challenging boundaries, that’s how they learn. In fact that’s how we all learn, even as adults.  

I agree with focusing more on good behaviour and occasionally addressing bad behaviour when necessary. But generally, the key is to reinforce good behaviour by recognising and acknowledging it.

I’d like to suggest a beautiful and inspiring book by Deb Snyder called ‘Intuitive Parenting’  which you can purchase here from my Amazon affiliates link. This book is a great little resource that encourages parents to tap in and pay attention to the cues and clues that our children are giving us. I’ve recommended this book to many parents who have found it very insightful.

I also think it might be a good idea to consider reading stories about consequences and good behaviour. Here is a great list of examples.

Most importantly, please be patient with your little one and yourself and always  remember that your little one is looking to you as their primary role model/hero.

All the best,

Deborah x!

Tammy Keefer

Clear expectations and boundaries are key to getting your child to behave as you want.  When your child does something wrong or bad, the first step is to gently and calmly tell them no and explain in words they can understand why what they did isn’t acceptable.  Things like:

  • No, we do not hit people.
  • We do not run in the house.
  • That is an outside toy not an inside toy.  We need to play with that toy outside.

if the behavior is repeated, then you may repeat the warning only once, but then you will need to escalate your consequences.  If you just continue to repeat the warning, the child knows they can ignore  you. The escalation will depend on what they did wrong.  If they threw a toy at you or continued to play with something you told them not to, a logical consequence would be to take away the toy.  Another common consequence would be the “time out.”  Another idea would be one of the many behavior chart/jar methods.  No matter what consequence you decide, you should always explain why to the child and where possible the duration.

Behavior Chart
Behavior Chart
  • I told you not to throw that toy and you did, so it’s mine now.  You can have it back in an hour.
  • You hit the dog with that toy.  We do not hit.  You have a time out for 2 minutes.
  • I told you to stop running in the house, but you didn’t listen.  So now you’re in the yellow zone on your behavior chart.

When you give a “time out” you should do so in a designated spot that is NOT the child’s room.  You don’t want the child to start associating his or her room with being punished.  A stool or chair in a corner works well.  You’ll have better luck with this if it’s somewhere quiet where the child won’t be distracted.  After the time out, you should again speak to your child reminding them why they were punished and then when appropriate they should apologize for the offending behavior.

A steady schedule will also help your child control their behavior.  Tired cranky children misbehavior more than well rested children.  A set schedule (waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, having meals at relatively the same time) also reduces anxiety in children. 



I have had the same problem and being firm without loosing your temper is the only way.  This will be a repeat on a daily basis until your daughter learns what is right and what is wrong behavior.  Reward good behavior with praise and remember to go down to your child level when you reprimand  her and make sure you have eye contact. 

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