Tag Archive | "how to discipline a child"

How To Discipline A Toddler Without Feeling Guilty

Feelings of guilt are natural in parenting. But, it will not do you or your child any good. Fortunately, there are methods you can follow on how to discipline a toddler that will not leave you feeling guilty.

Set Rules and Stick To Them

Just like everyone else, children need boundaries. Talk to your toddler about your rules. Make him understand them clearly. For instance, do not just say “You are not allowed to open the front door.”. You have to explain to him the possible dangers he will face once he goes out of the house on his own. It is very important that you are consistent in your discipline. Do not put your toddler on a time-out for pulling his sister’s hair and then disregard the same behaviour the next. If he knows what to expect from you, not only will he be less likely to misbehave but you will not feel so guilty when he does and when giving him a consequence.

Give Yourself A Time-out

It is very common for parents to start yelling when their children are unruly and then feel awful about it afterward. Whenever you are angry at your toddler, take a break, count to ten or go outside and come back when you have calmed down. Having a clear mind helps you make good decisions when disciplining your toddler and you are less tempted to react in a way that can hurt or frighten your toddler (e.g. spanking, using bad words).

Ignore It

Learn how to pick your battles. All too often, toddlers misbehave not because they are being rowdy but because they want to exercise their freedom. Choose not to get mad over small issues. Ignoring the tantrum or misbehaviour is the best way to discipline a toddler without the guilt, especially if you are in public. Just let it go and eventually, your little one will stop whatever he is doing once he realizes you will not give him any attention.

Cut Your Toddler Some Slack

Say “no” every time and your toddler will see you as a mean mommy. If your toddler threw his peas because he does not like his food, control yourself from reprimanding him. Let him have his way sometimes. After all, your child needs to make mistakes so he can learn what behaviours are acceptable and unacceptable. Plus, always telling your toddler what to do will only leave you feeling guilty.

Keep It Fun

You do not have to be strict to make your toddler obey you. Look for creative ways to enforce rules. For instance, if your toddler does not want to brush his teeth or make his bed, turn it into a game by setting an egg timer and tell him the target is to complete his task before the timer goes off.

Recognize Good Behaviour

Whenever your toddler behaves or does something good, provide positive reinforcement. If your little one cleaned his room without being asked, do not just praise and say “You did a good job honey! Mommy is going to buy you a new toy.”, but encourage - “That was so kind of you. Thank you baby!”. The latter gives encouragement to repeat the behaviour without expecting any reward.

Guilt-free discipline will make things much easier for you and your child. It will help your toddler misbehave a lot less and regain your proper train of thought.

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How To Discipline A Child Without Bribing

Using bribes to discipline children is very common. Why? Because it is very effective. Promising your toddler a toy or treat if he stops crying can automatically stop a stressful and embarrassing situation with your child. However, bribes only work for a short time and the more you bribe your toddler, the more your toddler will feel like he has the “upper hand”. Plus, his motivation to behave and do well is only driven by rewards, threats and ultimatums, and not because he wants to be good without expecting something in return. Here is a guide on how to discipline a child without using bribes.

Keep Your Emotions In Check

Children love testing their parents’ buttons. When this happens, it is hard to manage one’s reaction, so parents use bribes to make their children follow them. However, it is very important for parents to keep their cool so they can better get their children’s cooperation naturally with quiet authority. So the next time you feel like bribing your toddler, stop, count to ten and take deep breaths before you open your mouth again.

Identify and Eliminate Triggers

Instead of thinking how you can get your little one to behave in the heat of the moment which often results to bribing, find out what sets off your toddler’s bad behaviour. For instance, if he gets cranky every time you bring him to the supermarket, leave him at home with a relative or babysitter. If he does not want to eat dinner, do not give him snacks an hour before dinner time. Plan your days according to your toddler’s mood so that your little one has every chance to behave fittingly.

Find The Root of The Problem and Possible Solutions

If your toddler refuses to sleep in his bed, talk to your toddler first instead of bribing him right away. Maybe the reason why he does not want to sleep in his bed is because he is afraid of the dark or he does not want his bed near the window. Once you have figured out the problem, solve it. Plug in a nightlight or stick glow in the dark wall decals. Move his bed away from the window. If you take the time to figure out what is making your child anxious, you can resolve the problem easily without resorting to bribes.

Allow Your Toddler To Learn From His Consequences

Children need to understand there are consequences for their actions, good and bad. If your toddler continues to play with his food after you told him to stop, do not say “Baby, if you finish your food you can have dessert.”., instead, ask him to leave the table and only come back once he is ready to eat. At the same time, praise your toddler after he does something good. This will teach your toddler that good behaviour has good consequences which will motivate him to behave on his own and the need to use bribes is no longer necessary.

Disciplining children without bribing teaches children to think for themselves and to rely on their inner beacons which will help them flourish in life.

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