Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Discipline

Five Common Mistakes Parents Make When Disciplining Children

Raising children is no easy task. Disciplining children is even harder and everyone screws up. Here are some discipline mistakes every parent should avoid.

Mistake # 1: Bribing or Using Rewards

“If you clean your room, I will buy you a new toy.” – sounds familiar? This is probably one of the most common discipline mistakes parents make. This strategy may work for a time, but after a while, your toddler will start misbehaving in order to get prizes. Do not bribe or offer a reward just to elicit a good behaviour from your child. Give rewards after a good deed is done.

Mistake # 2: Losing Your Temper 

It is not very easy to stay patient when toddlers do things that are not right. However, losing your patience will not get you anywhere. Plus, it will only show your toddler that the way to get attention is to misbehave, yell or cry. So the next time your toddler behaves badly, especially in public, try not to lose your cool. Count to ten. Breathe in and breathe out for a few minutes and then take both of your toddler’s hands in yours, look him straight in the eye and firmly say “You know that hitting is wrong. Violence is not good.”  The secret is not to humiliate or make your little one feel guilty, but to treat your child with respect.

Mistake # 3: Being Too Negative

There is nothing wrong with setting limits. Limits are good for everyone, especially for children. However, when parents constantly tell their children what to do and what not to do, children feel suffocated, causing them to rebel against the rules. Or when a toddler often hears his parents say “No”, the word loses its power. Instead of saying “Do not hit your brother!” say, “It is not good to hit your brother, you will only hurt him.” or instead of saying “No standing in the tub.”, say, “ We sit down in the tub because it is slippery.”. This way, you are telling your toddler how you want him to behave rather than dictating his every action.

Mistake # 4:  Modelling Behaviour You Do Not Want To See

When someone ignores you, you get mad. If you cannot get the washing machine to work, you yell. But, you get mad if your toddler reacts the same way when things do not go his way. Remember that toddlers mimic their parents. So the next time your child throws a tantrum, do not say “Shut up!”. Instead, get on his level, calmly tell him to stop and talk to him why throwing a tantrum is not good.

Mistake # 5: Praising Too Little

Affirmation is an influential approach for building self-worth. Give praise for a positive behaviour. When your little one helps out in setting the table, say “Honey, thank you for helping me prepare dinner. I am proud of you.” Knowing you appreciate his effort will motivate him to repeat the behaviour.

There is no manual for raising children. But, keeping these tips in mind can help you make your job easier.

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