The idea of disciplining your toddler varies greatly from one parent to the next. Some moms resort to spanking. But in this post, that’s not what we’re referring to. A lot of parenting experts see discipline as a way of setting rules to stop your toddler from acting out in a way that’s aggressive, dangerous, or just plain inappropriate. Discipline also revolves around following through with consequences when your kid breaks the rules. Here are a few strategies you can use to help set limits and start disciplining your toddler in an effective way:
The easy way of disciplining your toddler
1. Pick your battles wisely
Always saying “No” to everything will lead to your child tuning out whenever he hears that word. You can’t possibly follow through on all those “no’s” in any way. Make sure you’re clear on what is important to you and then set limits according to your priorities, each with their own consequences.
2. Understand what triggers your toddler
Sometimes, misbehaviour is preventable when you can anticipate a spark and have a plan to tackle it before it happens, like removing the temptation before all hell breaks loose. Some kids also tend to act out when they’re hungry, overtired, or frustrated with the idea of being cooped up inside the house all day. Make sure your kiddo is well-fed, gets enough sleep, and has enough time each day to play outside and release some of that energy.
3. Consistency is key
Between the ages of two and three, kids try their best to try to understand how their behaviour affects those around them. This means that if you keep changing your reaction to a situation, you will be confusing the crap out of your kid with your mixed signals. If you keep your efforts up and your reactions consistent, your child will learn his lesson soon enough. Stick to your guns, no matter how cute or clever your child gets with you.
4. Leave emotions out of the equation
It’s hard to stay calm when your kid is misbehaving, but if you rage out, you’re going to lose the message you’re trying to sell, and the situation will only escalate. Kids are easy to spot a parent’s emotions instead of listening to what they’re saying. Resist the urge to raise your voice, take a deep breath and then be fast and firm when you deliver the reprimand.
5. Short and simple is the way to go
Reasoning with our kids when they break the rules, offering detailed explanations of why our kids can’t have their way right now, and issuing detailed threats of the repercussions of not stopping the bad behaviour is a thing that a lot of first-time parents do, but it’s not an effective tactic at all. The truth is that your kid just doesn’t have the attention span to absorb what you’re saying, so instead of over-talking the situation, keep it short and sweet.