Effective Discipline for Headstrong Toddlers!

Effective Discipline for Headstrong Toddlers

Effective Discipline For Headstrong Toddlers!

 "NO!" "I WON'T" or "ME DO IT!" are common phrases that come out of the mouths of toddlers, who are notorious for resisting reason from adults. One minute your toddler is still your baby, cuddling up and being a little angel - and the next she is a raging tyrant, screaming and kicking and throwing herself on the floor! They call the toddler years "The Terrible Two's" or the "Terrible Three's" and sometimes it may feel as though these years will last right into the "Terrible Thirties"! So, let us first look at what is going on with your child during this stage of development and FREE tips on how to handle them!

What is happening with my baby?
Well, your baby is beginning to grow up! For the first time in his life, he has begun to realise that he is a separate individual. Small babies have no sense of self. They believe that they are one person with their mothers. At around age two or three, children begin to have a sense of self, but they need to 'test' this and establish their independence and their 'difference' from you in whichever way they can. This is perfectly healthy and normal.

So, try and see your child's toddler years as 'practise' for adolescence and even an independent adulthood. It is a healthy stage and your toddler needs to feel supported and accepted in her developing independence. After all, learning to say 'No' is a very important life skill - and who better for your child to practise on than you!

Prevention is better than cure. Toddlers have a very low threshold for frustration and limited ability to reason, so it is always best to try and avoid putting obstacles in your toddler's way if possible.

Here are some things you can do which will help to prevent frustration and tantrums PLUS four amazing subscriber only discounts!

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  • Try to be one step ahead of your toddler

For example, if you know that she hates to stop playing and will resist getting into the bath, don't suddenly tell her to come and bath without any warning. Rather tell her that she has five more minutes left to play and then she is going to have a bath. This will help to prepare her. Learn to put him down for a nap BEFORE he gets overtired, not after he and you are both a wreck! Be aware also that his blood sugar levels will vary according to when he has last eaten and the amount of sugar he is consuming. If he is hungry, he will easily become unreasonable, so make sure that you give him regular healthy snacks throughout the day. Toddlers need at least five small meals a day - not three like adults. Too many sweet things to eat and drink will be bad for your toddler's health and his mood and are to be avoided, except on special occasions.

  • A consistent routine

A consistent routine together with regular naps and healthy meals will help your toddler to feel more secure and prevent many tantrums.

  • Be reasonable in your expectations

Remember that your toddler has a very short memory and little understanding of why certain things are not allowed. Don't become angry and expect that she behave like an older child. Lots of patience and plenty of repetition is what works, not scolding and spanking when your toddler does not 'listen'.

  • Give lots of controlled choices 

Give your toddler things to choose from. This helps him to feel more in control of his life and prevents oppositional behaviour.

  • 'Don't sweat the small stuff'!

Don't get into a battle of wills over things that are not important. There is no need whatsoever to establish who is 'boss'! If it doesn't really matter, don't fight about it. Save the conflict for things which are non-negotiable - there will be enough of them!

  •  Save NO for important things!

There must be some things which are non-negotiable under all circumstances. In cases like these, say "NO" very firmly and follow this up by removing either the object or your toddler from the scene. Be consistent about this.

  • Distraction is your most powerful tool! 

Toddlers have a very short attention span and are interested in everything! This means that they are easily distracted, so make sure that you use this to your advantage when trying to prevent conflict.

  • Keep your child busy

Boredom will create bad moods. Your toddler is developing fast and needs lots of learning opportunities. This need not be an expensive or time consuming pastime. Provide empty containers, sand and water and help her to make mud pies. Go for walks in the park. Join a mothers and toddlers group. Read her story books. Make sure that her day is varied and interesting.

  •  Don't use harsh discipline 

Spanking and yelling should be avoided, especially with toddlers who have little ability to understand this form of discipline and who can easily become angry and begin to bully other children and small animals as a way of coping with the harsh discipline. Rather use one of the preventative or guiding techniques above - they will be much more effective in any case!

  • Model good behaviour

Children learn by example! Model reasonable and kind behaviour at all times. You will have to do this a few times - even many times! But eventually your child will learn.

  • Give lots of praise & encouragement! 

Plenty of positive reinforcement is essential for young children. Too often we reprimand and criticize, rather than building our children's self-esteem and confidence.

  • Be aware of what you have learnt from your parents

Don't repeat bad parenting patterns! 

  • Give yourself a break! 

Make sure that you look after yourself. Take time to be with your friends and to get out for exercise, entertainment and relaxation. Do this regularly, not just when you are at the end of your tether! Your child needs you to be rested, happy and relaxed - not resentful, tired and ratty!

  • Learn to identify problem areas timeously 

Learn to know your child and identify when something is wrong. If you are not sure, consult a professional or someone whose advice you trust.

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Above all, make a special effort to highlight positives in your child. It is something we all need! Make time to have fun and spend time with your child. Tell him that you love him and admire him and show him often by giving him a hug!

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HAVE A QUESTION related to your health?

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