No one child is perfect, mistakes will happen and rules will be broken. How you handle disciplining your child when mistakes and rule breaking happens will set the tone for your child's behavior later down the road. See below for some helpful tips on how to discipline your toddler.
Your toddler may have thrown a ball and broke your favorite vase, but no matter how angry you may be, you need to keep calm. If you fly off the handle and lose your cool by yelling at your toddler or spanking, he or she may feel like it's OK to fly off the handle or become more aggressive too when they're angry. Take a minute to calm yourself before you speak to your child about what happened.
Always follow through with anything you say you are going to do. If you constantly make threats that your child will get a time out, but never give one, your child will never take your threats seriously.
Your child won't understand if he has broken any rules if you've never set any in the first place. Be sure to convey the rules to your child and be sure he or she understands them. For instance, you can't yell at your child for throwing the ball in the house if you never told them it wasn't allowed before. Also be sure everyone follows the same rules in your house.
Don't let your toddler's tantrum or whining make you change your mind. Your child is testing you, so if you cave, he or she will throw tantrums or whine to get their way every time you try and discipline them. Stand firm with your discipline and don't cave in.
Telling your toddler "why can't you be more like ____", or "why can't you act like a normal child" will only lower their self-esteem. You are essentially telling your child that they are not good enough the way that they are or they aren't normal. Either statement should never be said to your child.
Set A Good Example
Your child learns most of what he or she knows from watching you - the parent. Be sure to set a good example by following the same rules you expect your child to follow. Clean up after yourself, be polite, no fibbing and eat your veggies too. It's hard to yell at your child for not following these rules if you yourself aren't following them either. It's confusing to little ones.
When your toddler messes up, always follow up any discipline by giving a hug. Your toddler needs to know that you still love them, even though they made a mistake.
Toddlers will make mistakes, they're still learning, after all. Keep that in mind before you discipline and remember that you may have to reiterate the rules to your little one from time to time. For more parenting tips, visit Associated Psychologists & Counselors.Share