Introduction Children are like the sunshine that lights up every family’s home. However, we cannot also ignore the fact that raising toddlers, is no easy thing. The term “toddler,” pertains to children from age 1 to 3 years old. The toddler stage is said to be crucial, because this is where the child’s mental, emotional and social development are at an extreme. How to discipline a toddler? This ebook wants to convey the true essence of child discipline and the appropriate manners in which a parent can raise his or her child in and outside their homes without compromising the overall safety of the child as a human being deserving of love and nurturing.
8 Ways to Handling Your Toddler(s) 1. Show Your Love Developmental psychologist Aletha Solter said that “discipline works best when it’s firm but fair and when you have a warm and loving relationship with your child.” Firstly, you can try acknowledging your child’s feeling. Acknowledging your child’s feelings does not make you a permissive parent. As parents, we don’t really need to ‘agree’ with his feelings, but at least we must ‘acknowledge’ them. This way, you are letting your child feel that he is being listened to.
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For example, your child is scribbling on the wall of your house. As a parent, you will probably be furious to see that. But, even though you do not ‘agree’ with your child’s feelings and actions at the moment, you may say to him, “I see you really have fun scribbling on the wall, but walls are not the best places for scribbling. Why not do it on a paper, too?” Afterwards, you can offer him some papers. Remember, young children have shorter attention spans on something and when you offer him another option, he will likely accept it very quickly. A warm hug or kiss can do wonders. Every time after reprimanding your child, you don’t forget to give him or her a warm hug, as well as an assurance of how much you love him/her.
2. Lead By Example ‘Leading by example’ can be a way to train our children to do things in certain ways that we want them to follow. Toddlers are at the stage where they like to mimic. Amanda, 35, has shared how she used to have difficulties getting her 2-year-old son to drink water. She had to always use new methods to make him drink and one effective way she adopted was to give him a small cup of water. The cup was small enough to be held with his small palm, but he refused to drink. What she did was to get herself a cup of water, drink in front of her son and acted as if the water was so nice in taste. Her son ended up drinking and finishing the cup of water.
3. Explain in Patience Your child wants to know how the way you ask him to do something affects him. For instance, if your child is throwing his toy on the floor, instead of telling him “you will scratch the floor, or you will spoil the toys,” try to say something like “you can’t play with it anymore as the toy will be spoiled if you throw it this way.” Besides, you can try describe the problem to your child. Instead of saying, “please tidy up your toys,” you may address the problem by telling your child, “your toys are scattering on the floors; mummy has no space to walk through.”
Sometimes, it may be challenging to get our children to obey our instructions. Yet, if you allow him some freedom to choose or decide for himself, the problem might be resolved. Giving options is part of the training in your child’s development. For example, instead of asking your toddler whether he wants to sleep, why not provide him some options that are on par with what you want? You can hold his pillow and ask him whether he would like to sleep on his cot or on your bed. You can actually act together with body language by taking his pillow in your hand and placing it on his cot when you mention the cot, and then on your bed next.
4. Let Your Child Experience the Consequences
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If your child misbehaves in certain situations, perhaps you can let them feel the outcomes of their actions. For example, if your toddler never puts his toys back in the box and just lets them scattered, perhaps you may not let him play with his toys for a day or two and just keep his toy box out of his reach. Of course, you must explain carefully to your tot the reason why he can’t play with his toys, until he learns to pick up his toys before going to bed.
5. The Distraction Trick Toddlers have the propensities to easily get swayed or distracted. Use this tendency to your advantage, especially if your child is on the verge of throwing tantrums or defying what you ask for. Do this trick in a fun and funny way. You need to make your tot laugh and feel happy and remember that laughter is the best medicine, even for “fits of rage.” One time, Michelle, 29, had a challenge with her 2-year-old son Mathew who refused to take a bath. It can be pretty hard to find out exactly the reasons why children, especially toddlers, behave this way when their vocabularies are still limited.
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In Michelle’s case, it struck her mind that her son likes his ‘fire-truck’ toy very much and so she brought along the fire-truck toy to the bathroom. There was a container of stuff at the back of the fire truck, so she filled it with water and showed her son how he could put water together with his favorite fire-truck in the bathroom. Little Mathew seemed to forget about his unwillingness to take a bath and allowed his mommy take off his clothes.
6. Shrug It Off This particular strategy works when the tantrums are not done in public or the child is just being stubborn about getting what he wants. This is actually related to parents’ firmness about their decision. Sometimes, you just need to let your child know that they cannot always get what they want. As long as he is not harming himself or anyone, ignore the tantrums until he gets the message. If he keeps crying and whining, let him be till he is finished.
If the tantrum is done in a public place, it would be helpful if you take him to a safe and quiet place away from the public so he can have enough time to cool down, as well as avoid disrupting others, perhaps in your car or somewhere that is not so crowded. Peaceful spots in the park, for instance, can be a good place so you can talk to your child and attend to his needs properly. But do remember NOT to leave him alone, as abduction cases nowadays happen anywhere. While we have heard of some parents leaving their child in tantrums alone in a public place and just observing the child from a distance, it is still pretty dangerous and something that parenting experts discourage parents from doing. Aside from that, you can hurt your child’s feelings, as he might feel that he is being abandoned.
7. Make Sure Their Basic Needs Are Fulfilled
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As parents, we are responsible for ensuring that our children’s basic needs are always fulfilled. Stressful scenarios, such as when the child feels tired, sleepy or hungry, are common causes of tantrums and the reasons they behave in ways that parents will be mad at. Therefore, if you plan on going out with your toddler, you must prepare your gears to address these potential occurrences. Make sure you bring along with you your child’s favorite snack in case he gets hungry, a toy, or anything that offers him comfort. Furthermore, it is not advised to take your child out when he is tired or sleepy.
8. The Power of Compliment Compliments allow a kid to feel appreciated and valued. Honest and constant praises are some of the secrets to settle down an angry child. As parents, we must show sincere appreciation and interest in our children and their accomplishments, no matter how small they may be. A simple “good boy, you have done a great job!” can easily make a little child feel happy and proud of themselves. However, aside from compliments, parents must also be honest in pointing out their child’s blunders, but in a constructive and encouraging way.
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As parents, we need to be well-informed about the positive strategies to discipline our children. It always pays off if parents possess the knowledge of how to address the moral and psychological needs of every child. If you are serious about adopting parenting skills where you can get your kids to listen without yelling, nagging, or losing control, this following solution may be helpful for you. Positive Parenting Solutions is the worldwide leader in online parenting education for parents of toddlers to teens. It has helped over 75,000 families on 6 continents finally put an end to exhausting power struggles with their children. No more tantrums. No more meltdowns. No more guilt. Positive Parenting Solutions will help YOU become the parent you’ve always wanted to be.