Trust us, we know there’s a reason for the phrase, “the terrible twos.” But good disciplining can help tame the twos, making your life easier and teaching your little one important discipline skills for later in life. Here are some tips on the often-confusing practice of teaching good behavior:
Tell the truth.
Avoid lies at all costs. It may be tempting to tell what seems like a white lie (ie: “Don’t go past that fence because there’s a monster on the other side.”) But young kids are extremely prone to repeating anything and everything that comes out of your mouth. Imagine explaining to your neighbor why your little one thinks he or she is a monster. It’s better just to tell the truth.
It holds true for everything from naps to snack time: toddlers do best with routine and order. It makes them feel safe, secure and helps them learn faster. If your child does something they shouldn’t, remind them not to and continue to do so each time they do afterward-even if you’re tired and it would be easier just to let them get away with it. Remember, “just this one time” is not a concept that toddlers easily grasp.
A little bribing never hurt anyone.
A lot of parents advise against bribing and it’s true that too much bribing can lead to spoiling, but there’s no harm in having a couple good bribes up your sleeve. Just remember that reinforcing good behavior is always better than discouraging bad so keep things positive. For example, instead of saying “If you stop that, I’ll give you a piece of candy,” say “We’ll go to the park after we go to the grocery store.”
Follow your own rules.
It’s a lot easier to say, “We only eat in the kitchen” than it is to say “You only eat in the kitchen, but mom can eat in front of the TV sometimes.” Set an example by following your own rules.
Avoid the need to discipline in the first place.
You know what gets your toddler worked up so avoid those stressful situations whenever possible. Make sure you don’t miss a nap or meal. Generally speaking, the less crabby toddlers are, the better they listen.
-“7 Secrets of Toddler Discipline.” WebMD
-“8 Discipline Mistakes Parents Make.” Parenting.com
-Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net