Disciplining Toddlers

A child who starts to walk is known as a toddler at about 1 to 3 years. This new-found independence is usually accompanied by many other changes. As the child struggles to cope with these changes, the parents have an equally tough time handling the growing child.

The child is now no longer a baby and becomes aware that he or she can and does have an impact on decisions that are made which often leads to discipline problems. Disciplining toddlers is a tough job.

Here are a few tips which should make life easier for the frustrated parent of a toddler.

  • Consistency: Routine and order gives toddlers a sense of security. Maintain a daily schedule as far as mealtimes, nap times and bedtimes are concerned. The toddler should be made aware of right from wrong and should understand the word ‘No’ which should be consistently applied whenever applicable.
  • Plan Ahead and Avoid Stress: Over a period of time you will know what distresses your toddler. If you plan things in such a way that you can avoid stressful situations (such as hunger and sleepiness), your child will be easier to handle.
  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Try to see things from the toddler’s perspective – think like them. While not giving in, a little empathy will prove to be an effective method to get toddlers to do things properly.
  • Distraction: The attention span of toddlers is very short. So if a toddler is doing something wrong, it’s sometimes a good idea to simply distract them with some other activity.
  • Time-out: A child needs to let off steam just as adults do from time to time. Short periods can be allowed to let the child have what my mother would call their “mad hour”.
  • Keep Calm: If you want to control the situation, you cannot lose your cool. Anger only worsens the situation. You can only take suitable action with a clear mind.
  • Giving In: The necessities like eating, sleeping and bathing have to be done in a structured way but try to avoid being too rigid on the petty stuff which probably isn’t worth the bother.