A few years ago, when I don’t have my own child, I silently question parents about their parenting.
Why do they have a hard time disciplining their young ones, especially when they’re at the mall?
Is it really that hard to control a kid from running and screaming?
Can’t they simply ask a toddler to stop screaming?
These are just some of the things that run through my mind (plus the constant eye-rolling) whenever I see a little one having a tantrum. Turns out, you won’t really know how hard it is to raise a child when you don’t have one.
Now that I’m a mom of a three-year-old child, all I can do is appreciate the hardships of every parent, no matter what their parenting styles are. I know most of you have heard this but I’ll say it again, raising a child is hard. Making them listen to you without losing your patience is almost an impossible job but there are ways on how to make them behave properly.
Below are some tips on how you can discipline a toddler while saving your sanity:
Tip No. 1: Find The Triggers And Address It
No matter how fluent your toddler speaks, it would be hard for them to tell you what they are really feeling. So if you’re toddler is unmanageable, it might be because he/she is tired or hungry. If you’re driving for hours and the little one just can’t stay on his/her seat, he/she might be bored or nauseous or tired.
Whatever the trigger is, find it and address it if you can. If you CAN’T, just provide more patience. That being said, bring a snack all the time or when you’re going to travel for a long time.
Tip No. 2: Avoid Saying No
I’ve personally tried this technique: telling my son what to do instead of saying what he should not do. It’s like you’re suggesting them to do it anyway. After all, a child is curious and he/she may be curious enough why you don’t want them to do it.
For example, instead of saying “don’t run while the floor is wet”, I’ll say “You can play upstairs or when the floor is dry” After that, I back it up with an explanation, like “it’s slippery and you might have a boo boo.”
Tip No. 3: Kids Learn By Example
“Children see, children do.”
I’ve seen this powerful video when I was still pregnant and from then on, I told myself that I will do my best to be a good example for my child. Turned out, it wasn’t easy.
One time, my child bumped his knees on a table so I hit it. The next day, his cousin accidentally pushed him and since he’s hurt, he hit his back. I saw what happened and I felt guilty.
He saw what I did to the table when it hurt him and perhaps, he thinks it’s right to hit anyone or anything back when he’s in pain. So, from then on, I explained to him that it’s not good to hit other people (or things). I even taught him the breathing exercise whenever he’s upset or hurt rather than act immediately.
Aside from us, parents, we could also use other people as an example for our kids. For example, whenever another child or adult throw garbage properly, we can point it out to them and tell them why it’s the right thing to do.
Tip No. 4: Give Up On A Few Things
Some battles are not worth fighting, especially with a toddler. After all, some of them will be outgrown ones they become older. While it’s important to teach your child every single day to keep them right on track, you should find the right balance. That being said, address issues that really matter.
Have a hard time dealing with your little one? Sometimes, the best thing to do is to release it. Here at LetsKamp, we’ve provided a community for parents so we can talk about our problems, share our tips, or just build a connection. JOIN US NOW and create a free account!
Tip No. 5: Create A Few Rules
There may be a long list of things that your toddler should and should NOT do but if you can, just create a few rules that both of you can follow. Be clear about it and even if you feel exhausted telling your kid about it all the time, insist!
For example, one rule that I have for my toddler is to stop playing when he’s eating. It’s challenging because he’s always curious about everything but I don’t give up. I firmly tell him that whenever he’s at the table, the only thing he can do is eat.
Tip No: 6 Be Consistent
When your child is young as 2 or 3 years old, he/she doesn’t really know much about his/her actions. They don’t know how it would affect the people or surroundings — and that’s why you have to guide them, consistently.
For example, if you stop your child from throwing the toy the floor and you allow them next time, you’re sending mixed signals which will only cause confusion.
Tip No. 7: Control Your Emotions
Your child can’t stop himself/herself from whining but YOU CAN. So the next time you get upset at your toddler for spilling the milk on the floor — intentionally — or for crying during bath time, breathe in and breathe out. Screaming won’t help, trust me. It would only make your child confused, scared, or lost.
Instead of setting out a negative mood, sit or get down on your child’s level, look at them in the eye, and say what you want firmly.
Disciplining a toddler is easier said than done but with constant practice of these tips (or adding a few more that works for you), it can be less difficult. I know you think what’s happening right now seems like forever but trust me, it won’t last. The next thing we know, our adorable little ones are on their way to college.
So, cherish every moment while it lasts!