What we can do for disciplining an adopted toddler?

(April 14, 2010)

A biological child develops within the mother’s womb while an adopted baby develops within her heart. This is the only difference between a biological baby and an adopted one. Therefore, the methods for disciplining an adopted toddler remain much the same. However, the background of the adopted toddler may play a decisive role in disciplining strategies, especially if the toddler has been adopted after he was old enough to understand the situation leading to adoption. A child develops a strong bond with his biological mother or caretaker. Hence, uprooting a toddler from one setting and planting him in another would definitely play a crucial role in determining his outlook towards life. In general, it would make him very cautious of everyone around him and would often leave him wondering if this new family should be trusted. This often leads to unacceptable behavior as the toddler is trying to test the waters to see if he will be accepted for what he is. Hence, understanding your toddler and establishing a strong bond with him is vital while deciding on disciplinary methods.

It is important for an adopted toddler to feel loved and wanted at all times. Never should the fact of him being adopted come up in a negative manner. As no child comes into the world with the knowledge of right and wrong, creating an awareness regarding accepted and unaccepted behavior and the consequences of unacceptable behavior is essential. First and foremost, in order to achieve this, it is essential to be a good role model as children learn through observation and imitation. The use of stories with morals is recommended as children tend to associate themselves with characters in the story. Besides this, story time helps in developing a bond between parent and child and this is crucial for altering behavior in toddlers. Quality time spent together draws the toddler closer and thus reduces instances of aggression and tantrums. Gradually, a toddler will try to ascertain his position in your life by not allowing you to speak to others, especially other children. This is absolutely normal because the fear of losing you would make him possessive and aggressive at times. In such cases, reassurance plays a very important role. Timeout is a recommended method of disciplining toddlers as it gives them a chance to realize what went wrong. Positive reinforcement is highly recommended and should be given as soon as possible so that the child does not forget the reason for it. The use of praise and behavior modification charts are also suggested

Submitted by P T on April 14, 2010 at 11:58

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