For Parents

Parenting Tips

A Time-out Refresher Course

Dear Janie,

My 2 year old (27 months) loves his 10-month-old sister very much, but many times right after playing very nicely with her, he will then turn and hit her, sit on her, or try to bite her foot, etc. Whenever he does this, we put him immediately into time-out (which is another story, since sometimes he doesn’t stay there). I know this is normal for his age, but I want to know what I can do now to help keep her safe and help them learn to play together well.

Signed,
Mom

Dear Mom,

The key to helping your hungry little 2-year-old is patience and perseverance. Time-outs work wonders to let your little guy know that biting his sister is not okay. Keep up the time-outs, be consistent, and follow through (even though he doesn’t stay there sometimes). Time-outs will work, but it does take time. It will also be helpful to show him better ways to get mom’s attention. Go out of your way to catch him playing nicely with his sister and praise him for being nice four times for every one time-out he has. Giving him the attention all children crave for being nice and giving time-outs when he is naughty will make him hungry for mom’s approval instead of his sister’s foot!