we've been using timeout with her and it works to stop the negative behavior in the moment, but i want to teach her make good behavior choices; to set herself up for success by earning rewards for good behavior instead of receiving punishments for bad behavior. besides, timeout is hard on all of us when out in public, which is where most of her outbursts are occurring these days.
after a rough couple weeks, culminating in a public tantrum to end all tantrums, i've decided to implement a simple reward system for the kiddo. i've created zillions of star charts for kids in my past life as a child & family therapist. typically, with the population i worked with most frequently, our target behaviors were more along the lines of "don't set the cat on fire" and "no threatening my classmates." our target behaviors will be much simpler, more age appropriate, and specific to the behaviors we're struggling with as parents of a willful toddler.
it will look something like this:
the language we're using (use nice hands, make good choices etc.) is very familiar to her as we've been using those words with her since before she could understand what they meant. now she can fully understand what we're asking of her but her willful two-year old personality and lack of impulse control to reign in her behavior has left us looking for a more workable solution. the bruise on my left cheekbone (from a hurled nalgene sippy bottle) and the scratches on my neck (from fingernails on definitively not nice hands) are proof that our discipline strategy needs a boost. she's wearing me out and she's still 12 days from her 2nd birthday. how much more terrible can The Twos get? again, please don't answer that question.
so, wish us luck. i'll keep you posted.