Toddlers can be a real challenge. Anyone who has ever heard of the “Terrible Twos” will know just what this means, but it’s not just two-year-olds who can be defiant and unruly. The toddler years in general are a time when children are learning more about who they are and how they interact with the world around them. Just ask this mom of a threenager. With this comes pushing the boundaries and sometimes breaking the rules or doing things that are unsafe. This is why discipline is very important. I hope that these 4 tips help you to know how to discipline toddlers and help you keep the peace.
4 Tips For How To Discipline Toddlers
Keep it short and simple. Your discipline exists for a very specific reason. You’re trying to stop an unwanted behavior. It could be something dangerous or it could be defiant behavior. Toddlers have a limited capacity for understanding long drawn out discipline. Less is more.
Give a time out, or thinking time. In our home, we prefer using the phrase thinking time. When your child is not listening to your instructions, it might be time for thinking time. You can place the toddler in a safe location for the number of minutes that correspond to their age. 2 minutes for 2 year olds, etc. We have a specific thinking chair in our home. That time is to be spent sitting quietly to allow the child to think about what caused them to be put there in the first place.
Be consistent. The most important part of toddler discipline that you can remember is to be consistent. If you allow something one day but not the next, then you will send mixed signals. Your child won’t know what’s okay and what isn’t. if you say, “5 more minutes”, then mean it. Don’t add another five after that.
Stay positive. This might seem hard to do if you’re getting frustrated, so take a time out yourself if you need it. Don’t discipline in anger. You will send the wrong message and your child will be focused on your emotion rather than the message you are trying to send. They will mimic your reactions when they are upset and that is not what we want to teach them.
These are just a few tips for how to discipline toddlers. Do you have any tips or tricks of your own that you find effective?