Toddlers are a great fun and fascinating to watch. That’s part of the time! The other part of the time, they can be troublesome little monsters! Of course, that’s not really the case, it’s simply that at such a young age your child has yet to learn about behaviour and other complex aspects of life. They simply get on with what they do, and sometimes it leads to tantrums! Controlling your toddler needs careful consideration, so just how do you discipline a toddler?
Before we give you a few brief tips, we recommend you check out this great guide to toddler discipline books for more detail, as there is some great information there. So, let’s have a quick look at a few useful tips for successful toddler discipline.
1: Learn the Triggers – there will be certain things that convert your beloved little person from a friendly, fun child into a raging terror in a matter of seconds. You’re not alone, they’re mostly like that! The trick is to know what will inspire this change. It could be they see things that they think are fun to play with – toilet rolls, for example, or things on shelves on shops – which results in you telling them no, and a tantrum next. Remove those things from temptation, and you’re pre-empting the problem.
2: Consistency is the Key – if your child has a persistent trait that you need to stop, perhaps it bites or some other unacceptable action, then adopt a disciplinary tone of voice that is different to your usual one – and do this every time. Being consistent will help the child learn what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, but if you vary it, the effect will be lost.
3: Quick and Simple – toddlers do not have a long attention span, so your approach to discipline should always be quick and effective. It’s not easy to get right, but rather than give the child a lengthy pep-talk, tell them in concise yet uncertain terms that they are doing wrong. Eventually they will recognise this as a no sign.
4: No Emotion – try and keep emotions out of things when discipling a toddler. Once again, it won’t be easy, but it helps to stem the situation if you remain calm and collected while your child is playing up. Any sign of emotion on your part will instigate the same on theirs, and inflame the situation further.
5: Listen – your child may have – or will have from their point of view – a legitimate reason for acting up, so listen to what they are trying to tell you. You’ll soon learn what they want to tell you, no matter how they do it, which will help you recognise further triggers for bad behaviour and work with them further.
The above are just a few of the tips we came up with when researching how to discipline toddlers, and there are many more you may discover if you look at more in-depth books and advice.