Alex and Sam are both 2 and live next door to each other.
Alex is always getting into trouble, and his behaviour is driving his parents to distraction. He often lashes out at other children and his sister without warning (hitting and biting are normal), and has a ear-splitting tantrum at least once a day which seems to go on forever.
He is constantly in time out and supermarket trips are a
nightmare. His parents have no idea what to do - they hate shouting at
him, but are clueless about how else to react. They can't just let him
get away with this behaviour.
Sam has as much energy as Alex, and has a very mischievous streak. However he never seems to go crazy like Alex does, and his family just seem able to keep him in check.
It's like he has some kind of behaviour thermostat that stops him tipping over into nightmare territory. He has regular tantrums but they never seem to last half as long as Alex' one's and his mum just seems so calm.
Alex' mum cannot understand it - are the 2 boys really so different? Is Sam's family doing something she is not?
Toddler discipline 101 recommends..
Positive Toddler Discipline is full of practical things that parents can do easily to help with the often challenging time of toddlerhood
Author of Raising Happy Children For Dummies
and founder of Positive Parents
It is a way of managing behaviour that creates a win-win situation for both parent and child.
of forcing children to do as the adult wants, positive discipline uses a
range of techniques that persuade the child to cooperate, often
without them even realising!
Try these toddler discipline 101 ideas
- you cannot enforce behaviour boundaries if your little one doesn't
actually understand what you want. And because language and
understanding are still developing, you need to both translate the
meaning of what they communicate to you, and be extra clear in the
messages that you are getting across.
Enforce firm boundaries - Positive discipline techniques are not the same as spoiling your toddler - quite the opposite. Decide on your limits, and stick to them. Whether it's TV, mealtimes or bath time - stick to your guns.
Use distraction - diverting your child's attention from the cause of a potential tantrum is a widespread tactic - and for good reason. It's important to vary the different ways you distract your toddler - follow the link for some original examples.
Reward good behaviour - as learners in the business of social interaction, toddlers need constant reassurance that they are doing the right thing, and affirmation that they are loved. Don't fall into the trap of thinking rewards = only sweets and candy. Follow this link for some sugar-free inspiration!
Be affectionate - Children of this age have shaky self-esteem to say the least - they don't even know who they are yet. Whatever behaviour they display, don't bear grudges. When you have dealt with misbehaviour, cuddles and positive body language such as smiling are essential.
For more on toddler discipline 101 try here.
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