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How To Deal With An Unruly Child

Being unruly is part of toddler development. But if it is becoming a problem for you, your child and the people around him, what’s a parent to do? Follow these tips on how to deal with an unruly child.

Set Clear Limitations

Your toddler needs to know what is expected of him. Give clear cut rules in words your toddler can comprehend. But do not make the list too long or your little one will not remember any single rule. Saying “Do not do things that are not safe.”, “Do not be mean to people.” and “You have to finish your homework before playing.” are good examples. Once rules have been set, make sure you stick to them. Being consistent will make your unruly child respect your rules.

Never Give In

Another effective technique on how to deal with an unruly child is standing firm. Do not let your guard down. Remember that toddlers are being unruly because they want to test their parents and see if they will follow through with the consequence. If you are out with your toddler and he starts whining because he wants a new toy (again), say “Keep quiet.”. If he ups the ante and starts a full blown meltdown, do not cave in. Stay calm and ignore your toddler (even if you are embarrassed). Your unruly child will eventually give up because he knows you will not pay him any attention.

Make A Few Threats

Make a small number of threats and carry through on those you do make. It is effortless to tell your toddler that he cannot watch TV if he does not clean his room, but when you do not hold on to that threat, you are conveying a message that you do not really mean what you say. As a result, he will only disobey you. So if you are not good at keeping threats, then do not try making them.

Have Reasonable Consequences

One way to deal with an unruly child is to give consequences. No, you do not have to use corporal punishment to discipline an unruly toddler. But rather, create consequences that directly connect with your toddler. For instance, if he likes playing outside, have him stay inside the house if he misbehaves. Or, put him in time-out for talking back.

Bond With Your Toddler

Make an effort to spend more time with your toddler. One reason why a toddler is unruly is because he longs for his parents’ attention. Eat breakfast together. Let him tag along when you run errands. Allow him to do his homework at the dining table while you prepare dinner. Read him a book during bedtime. Talk about your day. Bonding with your toddler creates a sense of closeness and may reduce unruly behaviour that stems from insecurity and longing for affection.

Praise Good Behaviour

This may be a cliché but offering positive reinforcement encourages a child to repeat a good behaviour. Do not just focus on the times he is being unruly, commend him when he does something good. A hug, kiss, cooking his favorite food for dinner and uttering “Thank you for cleaning your room.” have a huge impact in making a toddler feel appreciated.

Dealing with an unruly child can be frustrating. But with a little time, lots of patience and practice, you can help your toddler behave appropriately.

Posted in Parenting, Toddler BehaviourComments (0)

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