As a parent, establishing a disciplinary spectrum for your child is one of your core responsibilities. Sometimes, you may not know how to get started with correcting your toddler’s behavior and at other times, you don’t get why this precious child is giving you lots of headache.
Here’s the reason why:
At the point of becoming toddler, your child will be inquisitive, spontaneous and cannot really tell from wrong to right. The level of confidence is so high that they act on impulse and that includes, doing the wrong things. It is true that your toddler is able to communicate and listen at this level, but he or she has not fully mastered communication and as such will not remember all your instructions or follow through with your warnings. This is why it is best to follow-up a bad behavior with immediate consequences, that way, your toddler will likely remember to tie a behavior to whatever consequence you meted out at the time.
Again, toddlers develop motor skills at this time and to test their capabilities, they will jump, reach, climb, throw and pull things. If you try to restrain them, they may likely throw tantrums. You may also notice that your child is so self-centered, willful and only want it to be just all about him or her. Another characteristic you will notice in your toddler is being inquisitive, saying and asking about everything. They will query your decisions and try to sell their point of view in the most daring way. This comes from the excitement of learning how to communicate or use a language. This will also be evident when he or she is relating with other children. There will be so much energy, noise and possibly rough play.
The older your toddler grows, the more they can tell right from wrong, understand repercussions and retain instructions. In the meantime, you have to deploy every possible method, to put the child in check and you can do so, in the following ways:
Try not to get too emotional or hysteric. Sometimes, it can be really hard to contain yourself when your toddler is getting on your last nerves but keep it locked down. If you become too dramatic, screaming and yelling in anger, the impact of whatever it is you are trying to correct will not be felt and it will just be one intense situation, with no lessons. At other times, your child may be so amused by your reaction that they will take it for granted, so instead of the emotions, be stern but calm. Also make sure you maintain eye contact when you reprimand.
Don’t engage your toddler when they misbehave, sometimes ignore them. Make it very obvious to the toddler that he or she is being ignored especially if it’s a tantrum they are throwing or need something. Eventually, when they see that they aren’t getting any attention and have become worn out, they will approach you to communicate or signal what they want. Next time, they won’t bother with the tantrum; rather they will just communicate because it doesn’t pay them.
It has already been established that you can give your toddler a timeout when they misbehave, but you can also walk away. Yes, if you have had it up to here, then take a walk and breathe. The older your toddler grows, the more they will understand that in trying to express themselves they are hurting you and because they don’t want to be avoided, they will stop. Alternatively, you can come back after a walk to discipline the child, by then you would have gotten a clear head and won’t act out of anger.
You can drive discipline by giving your toddler what he or she wants but on your own terms. You can take back,a bar of chocolate your toddler had requested for, if he or she doesn’t say thank you, upon receiving it. You can assure the child that the chocolate can only be released once they have said thank you and once they do, you can let the child have the chocolate back. This can be a more effective way to teach gratitude instead of yelling at the child for being manner less and still not withholding the chocolate. Overtime, the child may start to think ‘I can get whatever I want, only that I will be yelled at.