Dealing with Toddler Tantrums by Implementing Effective Time-Out Techniques

Your child is throwing his fourth tantrum of the day and by this time you’re really wishing you could take a break from parenting for a while. But as frustrating and hopeless as it seems, disciplining a child is not impossible.

Unfortunately, there is no rulebook of Do's and Don’ts that parents can refer to when disciplining their child.

Different methods work on different children. The one thing you can do as a parent is to keep more than one disciplining trick up your sleeve.

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Your toddler is learning things very quickly, so if you use the same method to reprimand or discipline him you become predictable and your toddler will quickly lose interest in what you have to say. Using different methods takes the child by surprise giving you the advantage of trying to put your point across.

Toddler Discipline Strategies

  • Distraction. This is the easiest. Your troublemaker may always be up to some mischief or misbehavior but luckily he is also blessed with a short attention span. So, if your child is throwing his toys in anger you can quickly play one of his favorite songs on the music player and divert his attention.
  • Redirection. This may not always work, but the idea here is to let your child display his temper positively. So, for instance if he is picking things up and throwing them, you should take him to the laundry room and tell him to throw the clothes in the laundry basket.
  • Ignore. This is the hardest to do but most effective if you pull it off.

    Part of the reason kids engage in hitting or biting or any other naughtiness is to see the reaction it elicits. So, if you don’t react your child will eventually stop the tantrum.

Time-Out Techniques

Apart from this you could also try time-outs. The key here is to find the right balance. If you're too strict with your child and impose too many rules to begin with you might find that either the child withdraws into himself and becomes this quiet person or he might rebel and become more petulant. Similarly, if you are too indulgent and give into his tantrums, you are increasing your child's self absorption and this will affect his social interaction with other kids his age, as he may become possessive, stubborn, or refuse to share.

It is hard to find the middle path, but if you lay down some ground rules for yourself like being consistent with the child and not spanking under any condition, you will be most effective. Spanking a child is a futile exercise, it doesn't serve any purpose in the long run and you run the risk of unwittingly letting your child know it's alright to bully others by hitting them.

Lastly, there has to be a measure of flexibility when trying out various Toddler discipline techniques. Toddler discipline problems can have serious repercussions if they are not dealt with immediately.

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