How To Discipline A Toddler Through Positive Parenting
One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is knowing how to discipline a toddler. Have you ever told your child, ‘I will take you to McDonalds if you listen’ or ‘I will count to 3 and then……’
These words are all too common to parents and children. Have we, as parents really stopped to listen to ourselves? All of these phrases, words etc. are negative or threatening. Do these phrases and/or threatening techniques work for you? Based on my experience in the child care industry as well as being a parent of 2 I know that they are not affective 100% of the time.
By focusing on what the child did wrong we are affecting their self-concept negatively. Your child will begin to think he/she is not good enough.
Why is bribing affective 90% of the time? It is because children fear being deprived of treat and fun activities. Additionally, by focusing on what the child did wrong we are affecting their self-concept negatively. Your child will begin to think he/she is not good enough. Take a moment and think back to when your parents threatened you or bribed you, how did you feel, why do you still remember those moments? It is because of the way you felt, your emotions and feelings were directly affected by this form of discipline.
Rather than bribery let’s try to reason with children, be conscious when you are disciplining. Ask yourself, “How do I get my child to _______?” “How can I help my child be more likely to choose to _______?”
You’re goal – make them want to do what you want them to do.
If you are struggling with your child lying in bed quietly, ask him/her “what will it take to get you to lay here quietly?”, by demonstrating your own self-control it will strengthen your relationship with your child. The BIGGEST misconception is that children manipulate. Most children are not trying to manipulate; they simply lack certain skills. Children will not do something they don’t want to do, just like adults. You’re goal – make them want to do what you want them to do.
If you do not have self-control you will tend to punish your child rather than teach. By having this type of control you eliminate, “do as I say, not as I do”. You will eventually be able to master reasoning with your child.
To further assist you with your own self-control, here are the 7 powers of self-control (Easy to love, difficult to discipline. By: Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.)
- Focus on the positive and the outcome that you desire
- No one can make you angry without your permission
- You can only make yourself change
- Focus on connecting instead of trying to be special
- See the best in one another
- Accept the situation and the normal behaviour
- Conflict is an opportunity to teach
When your child has a temper tantrum, do not get upset; take a breath and accept it. By accepting this moment you are saying to yourself “ It is what it is…..I do not condone this situation but it’s happening”. This will eliminate or decrease your stress, anger and hostility. Resistance and being unable to accept things is tiring and stressful for everyone, let things go and choose to be positive.
Resistance and being unable to accept things is tiring and stressful for everyone, let things go and choose to be positive.
Now you can deal with your child, pick up your child if you are in public and take him/her to the car and let the child finish their tantrum. Now, talk to your child, “I see you are really upset/sad/mad right now, what’s up?” the most important thing now is to WAIT. Give your child time to calm down and process their emotions, they will eventually tell you what if wrong and then you can work through it together.
Children tend to have tantrums due to their own perceptions of how things should be; we see the world through a lens of judgement due to our own perceptions. When our perceptions of how things work are not met we react with our emotions.
Remember, when you place someone in charge of your emotions, you place that person in charge of you. You must own your own upset and remember that our thoughts create our emotions.
For further information check this out or read Easy to love, difficult to discipline. By: Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D.
When disciplining, slow down, think and wait
Try to avoid negative or threatening language
Ask your child what he or she is feeling before acting
Practice self-control – you’ll be rewarded in spades!
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Amy, having earned a Bachelors Degree in Child Development, has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. First working in an infant classroom, and then moving to JK, preschool and toddlers. Currently Amy works as a Supervisor of a childcare facility in York Region.