We all know toddlers are a handful especially when they get to the terrible two’s and then become threenagers. I have always asked myself if positive discipline really exists?
I remember when Kitana turned two, I felt like I didn’t know her anymore. Who was this child and what happened to my little sweetheart? My husband and I never really discussed methods for discipline, we just went with the flow and did what we thought was right. I think that I am the one that does the discipline. You know what they say… Daughters are their father’s angels. My husband is a real softy with my daughter.
I’ve learnt that toddlers have big emotions and they can be really stubborn. Sometimes, as a parent I get frustrated, but then I have to take a step back and think… I have realised that being patient and understanding is very important especially when you are dealing with a two-year-old. Losing my temper isn’t going to solve the problem instead it will make matters worse.
There are days your toddler will pee on the floor, scream for candy in a store or try to hit you in public when you say no. You will be tempted to retaliate but honestly I feel that’s not going to solve the problem in the long run.
“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” –Bette Davis
I’ve got some tips for you to try discipline in a positive way…
1. Keep to your toddlers routine/schedule
I’ve noticed that when my daughter is sleepy, she gets extremely grumpy and starts fighting with everyone. This is when most of her meltdowns happen and if I miss that “sleepy time period” she just refuses to take a nap and will instead throw a tantrum wherever we are. It’s important to have a schedule and it’s important to stick with it.
2. Be consistent
Have a few rules and stick to them. Having lots of rules can confuse a child and cause more chaos especially when you go back and forth negotiating daily.
3. Reverse the negative
It is possible to discipline without saying no. I know a mom who “sings” her rules to her toddler.
4. Get down to your child’s level, call your child by his/her name and make eye contact.
When I’m serious, I say my daughter’s name. She knows I mean business. I always look into her eyes and explain to her the reason why she won’t be getting the toy. Toddlers are intelligent and sometimes just speaking to them like an adult helps.
5. Give your child a choice and try not to yell.
I used to be the mom that shouted all the time but it started to scare my daughter! I could see the fear in her eyes. I now use the ‘time out’ method but I will whisper it to her: “If you don’t listen, then you will have to sit in time out”. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but being consistent helps.
Remember their age and don’t expect too much from them. Toddlers will always try to push the boundaries. Treat mistakes as an opportunity to learn and work together as a team to solve the problem. Reward charts are great to use and can help with positive discipline. My daughter gets extremely excited when she gets a star. Click here to download a reward chart.
“As your kids grow up they may forget what you said, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.” –Kevin Heath
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