One of the most important stages in child development is testing for boundaries and disciplining a toddler at this stage is one of the most difficult tasks that any parent can face. It is very essential for every child to have a set boundary and these boundaries must be adhered to by both parents and family members alike. Knowledge of the consequences of breaking these boundaries and consistency in handling unacceptable behavior are of equal importance. The introduction of limits always brings with it tantrums as a child tries to test the limit. The method used to handle these outbursts plays a crucial part in disciplining toddlers.
While disciplining a child, it is essential to remind the child frequently of his or her limits in a subtle manner. Disciplinary action must follow the action immediately, to make the child aware of the unacceptable behavior, and not after the child has forgotten the incident. Time out, where the child is asked to sit or stand in a particular place, is one of the most effective ways of disciplining toddlers. Usually a toddler cannot stay still for more than a few seconds and is constantly on the look out for new adventures. Time out, with a minute for each year of age, gives the child a chance to realize his or her mistake. At the end of the time period, explaining the reason for the time out will also help in restricting further occurrences of the behavior. Ignoring tantrums and positive reinforcement also help in disciplining toddlers.
While disciplining your child it is very important to understand that the main reason for unruly behavior is miscommunication. If your child is not able to communicate his or her desires effectively, it usually results in frustration and tantrums. Unclear instructions can also result in confusion. Hence, coming down to the level of your child and giving your child the attention he or she deserves helps in reducing behavioral issues to a large extent. Keeping in mind that children learn through imitation, it is essential for parents to set good examples themselves. Raising a hand or the use of harsh words as a method of disciplining often causes irreversible damage as, in most cases; the child does not understand the reason for it. Instead, explaining to your child the reason why a particular behavior is not acceptable goes a long way in improving overall behavior. Talking to your child, on a regular basis, also strengthens the bond between parent and child, thus encouraging your child to trust your decisions regarding the set boundaries.