Parenting a toddler can be challenging. Especially when you factor in that they have a limited vocabulary and may have limited ways to express their emotions. Sometimes just figuring out your toddler can be a challenge within itself. You may find yourself in the midst of several power struggles with your toddler daily. But how does one go about disciplining a threenager? And is it really possible to discipline a toddler?
The short answer is yes.
It has to do with your approach, and here’s a hint: yelling at the toddler who’s probably already yelling at you, won’t help.
Here are a few tips on how to effectively discipline your toddler without yelling.
How to Discipline Your Toddler Without Yelling
Disciplining a child is one of the most important, yet difficult, roles of being a parent. Effective discipline teaches a child to be self-disciplined later in life. It helps your child grow up to be happy and well-adjusted. Effective and positive discipline teaches and guides children, and helps them to feel safe, secure, and valued.
Children always seem to find a way to ‘push our buttons’ at times and really try our patience. It’s easy to feel irritated, sad, angry, annoyed, confused and hurt. It’s at these times when our parenting skills are really tested, and that it’s imperative we maintain a kind but firm stance when it comes to doling out the discipline.
And let’s face it – none of us ever want to hurt our child with physical or verbal abuse. We want to teach our child that such things are wrong, and punishing a misdeed or inappropriate action by yelling or hitting is hypocritical at best.
Aside from that, yelling at a toddler who’s likely screaming already is only going to make the situation worse. And with both of you on the floor in a heap of tears.
Discipline should be based on a child’s age, development and temperament.
A parent’s goals by disciplining their child is to protect them from danger, to help them learn self-control and self-discipline and to develop a sense of responsibility. Disciplinary actions should be discussed and understood in advance so that children know what they have coming when they’ve misbehaved and can give pause and hopefully choose an appropriate route to avoid it.
Parents must be consistent in their discipline.
Discipline that’s not consistent is confusing to children, no matter how old they are. If parents are inconsistent in the way they discipline their children, children may find it hard to respect them. It can also indirectly encourage misbehaving and result in confusion and frustration for the child.
Discipline must also be fair. Parents must make sure that the punishment fits the crime and doesn’t punish too severely or is too lax. The consequences of their actions should be related to their behavior.
In order to discourage bad behavior, give your child choices about what to do. He will appreciate the chance to make decisions. Make sure rules that protect the safety, health and well-being of your child are given top priority. If your child is irritable, tired or upset, be understanding and try to help calm them. It’s important to keep in mind that bad behavior can sometimes be circumstantial.
Encourage positive behavior in your child by spending quality time alone with your child each day.
- Give your child hugs, cuddles or a gentle pat on the back, and give praise when praise is due.
- If your child is angry or sad, try to understand why.
- Teach your child good behavior by setting a good example and behaving properly and appropriately yourself.
If you need to, give yourself a brief ‘time out’ before responding with appropriate discipline. Sometimes we need a short cooling off period before dealing with our children’s misdeeds in order to avoid a misdeed of our own.
Yelling and hitting should never be an option.
Keep an open mind as a parent, and be willing to learn with and from your child. We all make mistakes and it’s important to realize that not every form of discipline works with every child.
Children are just as unique as adults are, and forms of discipline should be tailored to fit the individual needs of both parent and child. But with a little forethought, patience, firmness, love and understanding, the discipline can have a positive outcome for all involved.
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