(Hadley Hooper/For The Washington Post)

Join Family Almanac’s Marguerite Kelly online today at noon as she takes your questions about raising children of all ages. Submit your questions here.

In this week’s column, a reader asks Kelly, “What should [a] mother do when her daughter is defiant or she won’t listen to her? Do ‘timeouts’ work? And do they work with an 18-month-old?”

Here’s how Kelly responded:

“... don’t forget to tell [the mother] about that gong of independence that rings for every child when they’re between 18 and 36 months, no matter how good the child is or how patient the parents are.

“This gong is her reminder that children learn by doing, not by being told what to do, and this encourages them to do many things that might be better left undone — but not out of defiance or malice. A young child simply doesn’t know that glass can break and fire can burn; that she should clean the toilet with the toilet brush and not her toothbrush and that she really shouldn’t draw on a wall or rip books apart, page by page. Young children are charming, but they have about as much impulse control as your average gnat.”

Read the full column here.

More parenting advice from Marguerite Kelly:

Using a belt on a misbehaving child?

Unrequited love among teens

The ‘glory years’ between parenting and grandparenting