Here is a ‘how to’ on discipling kids
Children are the most beautiful creations of the universe, especially when they are toddlers. They can fascinate you with their beautiful smiles, charming baby talk and curiosity. This is an age where they can charm their way through any of their antics as they have you totally wrapped around their little finger. Tantrums, riots and other ways of expressing displeasure at not being allowed to do something are very common at this age. Most parents often worry at not being able to discipline their children. If you are facing similar worries, then these tips should be able to help you better discipline your toddler. So, read on.
The first ground rule for disciplining your toddler is to learn to say no effectively and mean it. This means not having to get angry and also using other words than just NO. It is important that parents ensure that they are positive in their approach because always saying no to a child will be pretty ineffective. You have to be creative and learn to stop a behavior without actually saying no.
The second rule is to divert the attention of the toddler to other less destructive activities. Many times, parents note that a toddler wants to be involved in multiple things and in such situations, instead of stopping him or her, the easiest way is to divert his or her attention to other things. For example, if your toddler is attempting to climb something that is dangerous or is trying to lift things beyond his or her ability, then you can divert his or her attention to something you are actually doing at the moment. This will not only distract the toddler from his disruptive activities but will also make him/her feel more important, thereby giving way to growth.
If all your efforts to distract have gone astray and your toddler still insists on displaying unwanted behavior, then it is time to ignore the little one as this is the most effective step that you can employ. If it is a temper tantrum or a riot, then you can either ignore by maintaining silence or categorically tell your toddler that you do not like the behavior and will talk only after he or she stops behaving in that manner. Most parents revel in the tool of ignoring the toddler as this is the best way to emphasize your authority without any power struggle from your end. Believe me, this works as nothing else does.
However, if your toddler does not listen even when you ignore his/her behavior, then it is time for a time-out. A word of caution though: remember that your toddler will not sit still in a corner. Hence, you have to go with him or her and make sure that both of you are standing at the corner but you have your back towards your toddler. Alternatively, you can place your toddler by your side so that you can monitor his or her actions without being noticed. It is important never to time these time-out sessions for more than a minute, else it may not help. Repeating such sessions every time your toddler behaves in that manner will help reinforce correct behavior.
Setting a daily routine is a very important part of disciplining your toddler. Such routines not only help set limits and discipline your toddler but also ensure a safe and comfortable atmosphere for the toddler at home. It is important that you maintain the routine, irrespective of where you are and what are the circumstances. This brings us to the main aspect of disciplining, which is consistency. It is very important that you are consistent in your efforts to discipline your toddler and that you use the same reinforcement each time he or she displays a particular behavior.
Lastly, it is important to ensure that you discipline your toddler immediately after the behavior and not after several hours. This will help the toddler relate your behavior to his or her action and ensure that there is a change in the future.