Popular television commercials involving 2 or 3 year olds would often project toddlers as the most inquisitive, boisterous, and tantrum-sensitive of all children — and this is true. While the toddler stage can be the most adorable, as this is the time they make wonderful discoveries about themselves and their environment, it can also be the most stressful.
If you’re a new parent, chances are you’ve read so many books about toddlers discipline and how to rein your child in and listen to you. Let me tell you that handling toddlers will definitely test your good parenting skills.
Discipline From Different Angles
There is no one way to discipline a toddler. Every child has his or her own set of characteristics and attitudes that it is difficult to prescribe a single no-fail way to address the issue. In short, how you discipline your child will depend on the toddlers activity and how he or she responds to you.
But don’t get frustrated not knowing what to do and where to start. Over the years, parents and psychologists alike have found that being consistent with your actions and setting limitations have worked with different types of toddler behaviors.
Don’t get angry that he or she threw food around one time and then let it pass and laugh the next time. Inconsistent parent responses will only confuse your toddler and will likely have him or her move toward the behavior that ellicited a positive response from you, like laughter.
Experts also say that telling stories about a toddler’s tantrum episodes to another parent in front of the child is a big no-no to good parenting skills. While you showed your child that you did not approve of the tantrum while he or she was doing it, seeing you discuss it positively with another adult, who will most likely laugh at the story, will make your child believe the behavior was actually good.
If you want your child to see you as an authority figure and follow your instructions, be firm and consistent with your responses. Once your child sees that you mean business, he or she will take it as his or her cue to behave and not get you upset.
Of course, authority is not just built by being stern and looking disappointed. You can exercise good parenting skills by adopting a positive, yet guided approach in a way that does not invite fear. You want your child to respect you, not be afraid of you.