Toddlers can be fun and cute. They can also be a real pain to deal with when they throw their tantrums, try to argue with you, or just plain refuse to stop doing what you tell them not to.
This is why discipline is important. However, most parents are not sure if what they are doing is too much or not enough. The following are a few tips that can help you discipline your toddler while still being gentle.
Be Consistent with the Child
Have a consistent timetable for the children. There should be set times for waking, eating, playing, and sleeping.
By creating a consistent routine for them, they are more likely to adapt and know what to expect. Moreover, if there is any change in the situation – for example, you want to go out on a date with your spouse – tell them ahead of time.
Firm No and Gentle Distraction
When they start acting out and are being a huge pain, you need to be firm when you tell them “no” or “stop that”. Most children do not know the difference between right and wrong.
So, it lies on you to show them the difference by pointing out the rights and the wrongs, and then distracting them with other more rewarding activities.
Understand that They’ll Always Try to Test You
Toddlers are generally at the age where they are just discovering their newfound freedom. They are at that age where they want to explore and understand what happens when they do something.
It is why they ask a ton of questions and why they experiment with lots of things. Frowning or shouting at them will not cut it. They need a firm hand at this age. However, be prepared for their tests no matter how small.
Time-Outs Still Work
Whenever you see them doing something you’ve already told them to stop – throwing things for example – give them a time out. Send them to the corner where they’ll face the wall for about 2-3 minutes, and then call them and reinforce why they were punished.
You May Need to Repeat Something Several Times
Sometimes, you may find that your entire day is just one series of repeated words, usually in the form of “no”, “stop hitting” or something similar. Understand that children often need you to repeat something a few times before they understand that these actions are not permitted.
Check Your Expectations
Sometimes, we think kids are adults and expect too much of them. You need to understand that they are just toddlers who are trying to figure their way out, understand this “strange” world, and will forget things for the most part.
So, even if you warn your kid off certain actions, be patient. It takes a while for your corrections to sink in. Never make the mistake of comparing kids. Most parents do not, but there are a few who worry that their kids are not as well behaved as other kids or developing at the rates other kids do. Every child is unique, each with strengths and weaknesses. Even if your child seems lacking in some areas, they may be stronger in others, allow them to develop at their own pace, and they may surprise you.
Aim for Balance
This means rewarding good behavior, reprimanding bad behavior and letting them know why they were reprimanded. Most importantly, you also need to know when to let go and ignore certain things. You want your kids to grow into well-rounded kids, and the best way to do that is to allow them make mistakes.
If you need additional help, talk to your kid’s pediatrician about their behaviors. They can often detect if there are other issues at play or if the child is just acting up. If the problem is more serious, having an urgent care facility such as Night Lite Pediatrics on standby can be enormously helpful.
Oscar King is a proud parent who often shares his adventures in parenting with his audience through his writing. He strives to provide the best tips he has learned as his children grew. You can learn more about Oscar by visitin his profile on Google+.