How to discipline your child?

As the saying goes, “ There are no bad children, only bad behaviours”, it’s the responsibility of the parents who can craft them into beautiful ones. As a mom of a 2-year-old baby girl, I find it quite challenging to deal with her everyday. Gradually, I realise that it is a job that takes time and patience. When we talk about discipline, it is not a punishment. It is a positive strategy, a positive approach to them in a way to develop good behaviour. Discipline is helping your child learn how to behave – as well as how not to behave. It is built on talking, listening and choosing the right approach. 

The methods can be varied according to the ages. Here, let me focus on the toddlers.

Whether dealing with a screaming toddler or an angry teen, it can be hard to control your temper. No parent wants to find themselves in such a situation and the bottom line is that shouting and physical violence never help.

Having private time with them and get to know each other

Have a private time with them and try to build a relationship with them. One-on-one time is important for building any good relationship.It can be 20 minutes a day. Or even 5 minutes. You can combine it with something like doing laundry together while you sing a song or chatting while you’re hanging out the washing. The thing is to focus on your child only. Turn your TV off, turn any notifications off from your phone and put everything aside. 

Mostly toddlers misbehave because they can’t express or control their emotions. They also tend to be very demonstrative. So when they’re happy, they’re very happy. And when they’re upset, they’ve very upset. Your little tot is naturally inquisitive, so it’s only normal for them to get into everything. Their job is to test a new sense of independence; yours is to set limits. So, before setting any limits, try to perceive senses from their point of view.

Offer choices

My baby’s favourite word is “No!”. You might also be familiar with it. To overcome this, you’d better give them choices.Toddlers are all about independence and control, so you can avoid a lot of problems by giving them a little more say in their lives, says Pantley. Two choices are enough for this age group, for example, “What do you want to do first: drink milk or go to bed?”.

Give consequences

 Calmly and firmly explain the consequences if they don’t behave. For example, tell her that if she does not pick up her toys, you will put them away for the rest of the day. Be prepared to follow through right away. Don’t give in by giving them back after a few minutes. But remember, never take away something your child truly needs, such as a meal.

Part of growing up is learning that if you do something, something can happen as a result. Defining this for your child is a simple process that encourages better behaviour while teaching them about responsibility.

Being consistent is a key factor in positive parenting, which is why following through with the consequences is important. And so is making them realistic.

Set clear expectations

“Telling your child exactly what you want them to do is much more effective than telling them what not to do,” says Professor Cluver. “When you ask a child to not make a mess, or to be good, they don’t necessarily understand what they’re required to do.” Clear instructions like “Please pick up all of your toys and put them in the box” set a clear expectation and increase the likelihood that they’ll do what you’re asking.

Minimise meltdowns by finding out what triggers them. If your tot always loses it when she’s hungry, make a point of having lots of healthy snacks on hand. If she gets upset when she has to leave the park, give her lots of warning (10 minutes, five minutes, two minutes) before you start packing up. And limit visits to notorious trouble spots, such as the toy store.

Remember that, as a parent, you can give yourself a time out if you feel out of control. Just make sure your child is in a safe place, and then give yourself a few minutes to take a few deep breaths, relax or call a friend. When you are feeling better, go back to your child, hug each other, and start over. 

If you do not handle a situation well the first time, try not to worry about it. Think about what you could have done differently and try to do it the next time. If you feel you have made a real mistake in the heat of the moment, wait to cool down, apologise to your child, and explain how you will handle the situation in the future. Be sure to keep your promise. This gives your child a good model of how to recover from mistakes.


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