Children are the most beautiful creations of the universe, especially when they are toddlers.
They can fascinate you with their beautiful smiles, charming baby talk and curiosity. At the same time, they can frustrate your with their tears, tantrums and rioting! How can you discipline your toddler effectively?
Here are some tips, especially for you!
Discipline your toddler: A How-To Guide
How to discipline your toddler
Rule 1: Say “No” and mean it
The first ground rule for disciplining your toddler is to learn to say no effectively and mean it. This means not having to get angry and also using other words than just NO.
It is important that parents ensure that they are positive in their approach because always saying no to a child will be pretty ineffective.
You have to be creative and learn to stop undesirable behaviour without actually saying no. For example, try saying “Let’s go outside for a walk instead of playing with the remote control, okay?”, instead of “NO, I told you NOT to play with the remote!”.
Rule 2: Distract
The second rule is to divert the attention of the toddler to other less destructive activities. Many times, parents note that a toddler wants to be involved in multiple things and in such situations, instead of stopping him or her, the easiest way is to divert his or her attention to other things.
For example, if your toddler is attempting to climb something that is dangerous or is trying to lift things beyond his or her ability, then you can divert his or her attention to something you are actually doing at the moment.
This will not only distract the toddler from his disruptive activities but will also make him/her feel more important, thereby giving way to growth.
Rule 3: Warn, and ignore
If all your efforts to distract have gone astray and your toddler still insists on displaying unwanted behaviour then it is time to ignore the little one as this is the most effective step that you can employ.
If it is a temper tantrum or a riot, then you can either ignore by maintaining silence or categorically tell your toddler that you do not like the behavior and will talk only after he or she stops behaving in that manner.
Most parents revel in the tool of ignoring the toddler as this is the best way to emphasize your authority without any power struggle from your end. Believe me, this works as nothing else does.
Rule 4: Gentle time-outs
If your toddler does not listen even when you ignore his/her behavior, then it is time for a time-out. A word of caution though: remember that your toddler will not sit still in a corner. It’s best to place your toddler by your side so that you can monitor his or her actions, but with no interaction until the time-out is over.
It is important never to time these time-out sessions for more than a minute, else it may not help. Repeating such sessions every time your toddler behaves in that manner will help reinforce correct behavior.
Rule 5: A daily routine
Setting a daily routine is a very important part of disciplining your toddler. Such routines not only help set limits and discipline your toddler but also ensure a safe and comfortable atmosphere for the toddler at home.
It is important that you maintain the routine, irrespective of where you are and what are the circumstances.
This brings us to the main aspect of disciplining, which is consistency. It is very important that you are consistent in your efforts to discipline your toddler and that you use the same reinforcement each time he or she displays a particular behaviour.
Rule 6: Instant discipline
Lastly, it is important to ensure that you discipline your toddler immediately after the behaviour and not after several hours. This will help your toddler relate your behaviour to his or her action and ensure that there is a change in the future.
We hope you found this article useful! Add your own ‘rules’ to our list in a comment below!