Thankfully, Norah has yet to have a public meltdown; in fact, in public and at school, she's like Miss America -- always smiling and waving and saying "hi" to people.
But at home?
There are times, and even whole days, where her inner-goblin seems to get the best of her and she's nuthin but naughty. Scooter is most often her victim of toddler-terrorism; she hits him, pulls his ears, pokes him, pinches him, she was even caught once sitting on him. But, he's not the only one who can fall with in her long shadow: Jerry and I have both had our share of bites, hits, and pinches.
Along with her mean-streak, she can suffer from the typical sort of tantrums that toddlers are famous for: if she is denied something she wants, or if she is forced to adhere to rules we have, she breaks down into the expected behavior that many toddlers exhibit at this stage: tears, dramatically throwing herself to the floor, and resistant "no"s.
So, our methods of handling this behavior so far?
- Diversion. She, like most kids her age, has an attention span that lasts about 30 seconds, so diverting her attention away from whatever caused the meltdown, has some margin of immediate success.
- Ignoring. Especially when it's something minor at home where she's throwing herself to the floor and acting pitiful.
- Being firm and consistent with our "no." "No" to pulling Scooter's tail always means "no" to pulling his tail.
- Giving her a task. Asking her to help with something has a marvelous effect. She likes "helping" with all kinds of small tasks -- unloading the dishwasher, putting things away, making the bed, etc.
But, aside from these methods, I'm kinda stumped about effective methods of discipline that are appropriate for a 17 month old. I don't know if she's old enough to understand a "time out" yet, and we've tentatively decided that we're not really the spanking type. Aside from shackling her inside a closet, I'm not certain if there are better ways to correct her when her behavior is unacceptable.
So, I turn to you guys, oh wise ones. Should we be whipping her with wet noodles or what?