I recently wrote a post about time outs with my toddler. I wanted to expand on that theme a bit by discussing toddler discipline. My 15 month old daughter is truly pushing her limits and as a result my limits have been stretched. I am trying not to lose patience but to be honest, sometimes that is difficult. I keep praying though and trying to be consistent.
I also try not to laugh when things get so bad it is funny. Once I laugh I know I have lost her. She just keeps it up (fill in the blank with all the things toddlers seem to get into and do).
Here is a list of 5 things I have found that are important as I am parenting my toddler:
- Be Consistent – I mentioned this above. But it is very important. No needs to always mean no. Even the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time. Along with this is routines and schedules. It is hard to stick to a schedule but toddlers do much better when there is structure.
- Distract – often a toddler can be distracted into doing something else. When they are doing something wrong, try diverting their attention to something positive
- Timeouts – really this is sometimes just for mom. But kids do need a break. Timeouts should be short for a toddler – just a couple minutes.
- Praise – use praise and positive reinforcement when your child is practicing good behavior.
- Relax – some things you feel are “wrong” might just be curiosity in your child. Let them play in the water or pull out those Rubbermaid containers. They are investigating their environment. Stay calm and look at things through their eyes!
So what has worked for you?