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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.

Let’s talk about:

  • How to discipline your toddler
  • How to effectively discipline without yelling or hitting

Is it really possible to discipline younger children effectively? Yes. Here are a few ways to 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.

9 Tips for How to Effectively Discipline a Toddler

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.

How to Discipline Without Yelling or Hitting

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. By hitting a child, you are also teaching them that it’s okay to respond in this manner when they are frustrated. Discipline should not be painful- to you or to your child.

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.

This is especially true to remember if your child is spirited or strong-willed.

You may also like these additional 10 Discipline Strategies for Parents and Children



You will also want to keep in mind that children are going to learn by example. And by becoming a happier parent, you increase the possibility of having happier and potentially well-behaved kids. Skeptical about this?

Believe me, so was I.

But then I also realized just how much I was neglecting my own health needs. Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. However, once I started to make self-care more of a priority, I began to realize how angry I was getting. And that wasn’t beneficial for anyone.

It really doesn’t take much, but learning to become a happier mom really did go a long way.

We also started looking into positive parenting techniques and how to incorporate compassionate parenting into our parenting toolbox.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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Full Spectrum Mama
6 years ago

LOVE that you wrote this and admitted losing it in your mailing. LOOOOOOVE the way you wrote a time management post while struggling with time…Isn’t that just how life is, especially in the universe of differences?

Keeping it real!

Thanks and love and even laughs,
Full spectrum Mama