Disciplining a toddler does not mean simply saying no. You should think like them and discipline them from doing annoying things by gentle but strong words and actions. Most of the parents make the mistake of shouting at the toddler when they do annoying things or throw tantrums in public. But the important thing to remember here is discipline is a regular activity to mold a child’s behavior but not a code of conduct to be followed in public places only.
Kids up to the age of 2-4 years are called as toddlers. Their brain development is at the maximum at this age. They get fascinated by the outer world and have so many questions in their tiny brains and seek attention at the maximum levels. When their queries or wishes are not entertained, they generally throw tantrums in public. For example, they lay crying on the floor of a shopping mall, hit friends or siblings, etc. Not a simple ’no’ will suffice to discipline them.
Toddlers need utmost attention to their needs and queries. Hence, to take more care and pay attention towards your toddler, you may need stuff like professional baby carrier, toys, games, etc. Toddlers may often become vulnerable due to hunger or tiredness. Carry some food that is eatable easily and carry them when they feel tired. Keep your diaper bag handy as they throw tantrums when they need a diaper change. When you need to stay out for a long time with kids below 3 years of age, do a favor yourself by carrying a diaper bag always.
To distract their attention towards a toy they want or a chocolate, sometimes you need to be tough on them by saying ‘no’ umpteen times. But always make sure that you say that ‘no’ gently.
You need to prepare them with gentle words about some uncomfortable situations. For example, they need to wear the school uniform they don’t like, or they need to stay with a friend or acquaintance they are not familiar with for some time. You can prepare them before sometime if you are aware of the situation earlier. For example, say to her that “you look cute in new school uniform”, or “aunt Jane loves you”, etc rather than saying “you should wear that dress that’s it”, or “aunt feels bad if you do like this”. Remember that this is not a one day job. You need to prepare them in a positive manner to inculcate discipline in them.
Think like a toddler as a child cannot understand most of our needs and feelings. You need to think in their perspective. Generally, kids get annoyed by discomfort like not getting bath properly, sleepiness, and some fears of new places or strangers. You can prepare them by bathing them before you start and take a baby carrier along with you to place them when they feel sleepy. Some crowded places like supermarkets and shopping malls can provide separate play areas and baby beds to prevent them throw tantrums and distract their attention from annoyance. Avoid strangers from contacting with kids if your kids don’t feel comfortable with them. Always try to be cool and patient to listen to your kids. The best favor you can do to your toddler is listening to them properly and let them take their time to convey to you their feelings.
Your kid cannot be disciplined overnight. Correct the bad behavior of your kid gently rather than giving punishment. Try to give activities that enhance discipline like placing shoes in the right place, placing the used plate in the sink, arranging their toys after play, etc. Appreciate and reward their good behavior. This gives a positive result in disciplining your toddler without punishment or being grumpy to them. They may not obey you at the first attempt but they will come to your way gradually.
In the end, discipline is not a code of conduct to be followed for some time but it is a way of life. Kids do not follow what they hear but follow what they see. So parents should act properly and set an example for them to propagate discipline among toddlers.
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