How to Discipline a Child – 7 tips to help you with your toddler’s “NO” Policy
Dealing with toddler tantrums and meltdowns are difficult things to handle for the parents for many reasons. Accepting their rude
Many a times a small kid will retort or answer back and be ready with a ‘No’ even before the completion of a sentence. Child psychologists attribute this behaviour problem in kids to couple of different reasons – one is because the toddler is trying to assert his individuality and does not want interference; secondly it could be because he is trying to test and bargain his limits with the parent and third because the child is expressing a certain physical need by being grumpy and defiant, for example when he is too sleepy or hungry and doesn’t really know to handle this.
Whatever be the situation, it is for the parents to communicate assertively and manage the situation while still not hurting the child’s ego and identity which has started to just blossom. Having said that, It still needs to subtly be communicated to the kid that
- He needs to learn obedience and other such positive habits that will make him a happy and healthy kid.
- It is the parent who is the in-charge around.
- It is not about controlling him but about inculcating constructive behaviours.
The question that most parents’ today face in this high-tech world is how to discipline a child. The base of handling this frustrating and challenging situation is for parents to understand and acknowledge that none of this behaviour problem in kids is because they wish to irritate or embarrass their parents. Most of it is unintentional. And many a times it is because the kids are unaware of other ways to respond to the situations. Often they indulge in such irrational, disrespectful and bad behaviour because they want to catch the attention of their parents towards something that they are unable to understand all by themselves and therefore express in words.
How to discipline a child – 7 amazingly simple and practical ways
- The first thing to do as a caring and understanding parent is to Stay Calm and not React – not to loose temper, yell, scream, spank the child or say things you don’t mean. Remember, that he is too small to understand his own actions and reactions. Also by staying calm, you indirectly communicate to the child that you in control. And that you are not getting impacted with their tantrums. When the child is in a ‘No’ mood, the best is not to respond immediately because any wrong verbal cues and negative body language of the parent is going to silently tell the child that this is an acceptable way to behave in such situations and get their work done.
- Observe and get acquainted with the triggers. In order to create happy/healthy kids, parents need to closely watch out for patterns that provoke or cause the disruptive behaviour and accordingly work out a plan to avoid such situations. Or help the toddler understand how to deal with it.
- Communicate with him at the right time. Toddlers may not be able to explain in words, so it is better to use positive body language like giving hugs, holding tight and speaking with love, being empathetic, listening with full attention giving him the confidence to blurt out. Remember, after all, he is a little child and whatever be the situation, he should not doubt your love towards him. However having said that Over-talking is as good as getting emotional. The effectiveness of talking happens with older children. The cognitive skills of the toddler are still not so developed – hence he needs to be instructed using short sentences and body language.
- One effective way of handling disruptive behaviour by parents is to distract the child. Since attention span in kids of this age is very short, giving an alternate activity will ease things off.
- Another method is to offer him choices. With his consistent ‘No’s’, make it positive by giving him options to choose from. This way you show respect to his spirit of independence while curbing him from getting negative.
- We all know how kids imitate their parents. Hence it is essential that your use of the word ‘No’ is minimal. Child psychologists suggest that instead of saying a direct ‘No’, parents should express their thoughts and instructions using positive and polite language. Read how to delete the “no” and insert a “yes” while dealing with kids.
- And lastly tell them that there are endless options to respond to a situation. In between a “yes” and a “no” lie this window of endless possibilities. Teach them words like May be, I will try, Possibly, I will do this in 10 mins and so on.
And lastly I would write about 2 things that have worked for me personally apart from this list above :
- Understand that this is a phase and shall pass too and You are not alone in it.
- BE consistent and stand your ground.