As your baby grows, he or she learns from their surroundings. They also go through stages during their toddler years. Some of these stages can be explained from what they may have seen and others are just natural processes. The best time to teach your children how to behave is when they are toddlers. They are more eager to please their parents, thus being easier to discipline. Since they are so eager to please the best discipline is praise for good behavior.
I am a parent who does not believe in spanking. In fact, I have never spanked my children. Children learn best from repetition and not from fear. Some children need more redirection than others, but they can all learn from your examples. When my children were toddlers I would praise them, or clap my hands when they did something right. This encouraged them to do the behavior more often.
Here are some specific behaviors and tips for how you can discipline each. Just because one technique works for one child, does not mean it will work for another. Not all children are the same. In fact all children are different. Each child has his or her own behavior and will respond differently to discipline.
Biting is a behavior that is mostly sensory induced and then becomes a toddler stage. No one wants their child biting other children and adults. To end the behavior quicker, discipline your child. Consistently telling your child no when you see him or her biting is a great way to start disciplining. Once you get your child to stop biting let him or her no that biting hurts.
Slapping is an aggressive behavior that may be learned from adults or other children. Sometimes it is just a stage the child goes through. End the behavior without slapping the child. If you spank the child for his or her actions, the child will believe it is okay to slap. Instead distract the behavior. Tell your child no and warn your child continuous action will result in timeouts.
At some point all toddlers go through a throwing stage. Most children do not throw items at others, but you still want to curb the behavior quickly. Throwing is a game to your child. You will need to quickly distract your child, sometimes even grabbing their hands so they cannot throw.
My son likes to play in the playground mulch. While playing with the mulch, he will let it fall through his hands. The next thing he will do is pick it up and throw it. As I watch him, I will usually walk up behind him so I can yell no and grab his hands before he throws the mulch into the air.
Climbing, Running, and Curiosity
As your babies grow they will be curious about the world around them. They may start looking at things and subsequently breaking beloved possessions. Although this is not an aggressive stage, you may want to protect valuables by putting them away until your child is older. When you see your child playing with things he or she is not suppose to yelling or startling them may cause the child to drop and break the valuable.
Running and climbing are not aggressive behaviors, but they can be dangerous to your toddler. You may want to discourage these behaviors in situations that will put your child in danger. However, the best way to deal with these behaviors is to encourage these behaviors and physical play in safe environments. This will teach your children where there are safe places to play.
Discipline for behaviors
A great distraction for some children is loud, surprising noises. Yelling “no”, clapping, and even using rocks in a soda can distracts children from what they are about to do. Grabbing your child and putting him or her in a timeout after distracting them may let them know you do not approve of the behavior and there are consequences. Always warn your child first.
Timeouts should only be used if the child understands them. Never use timeouts without letting your child know if he or she continues the behavior a timeout will be used. Give your child the opportunity to realize consequence. After the first time the child acts out and you warn of a timeout, immediately follow through the next time with a timeout. Consistency is important. Even more important is following through with the consequence of your child’s action.
Keep clear concise rules and punishments. Post rules and punishments so your child knows what he or she is expected to do. For toddlers, you can draw pictures to get your point across. Go over the list with your child before the list is hung. Let your toddler hang the list where he or she can see it. Over time add to the list when needed. Have simple rules and punishment and be consistent. You will see a difference in your child’s behavior if the child knows what is expected of him or her.
More by Jane Vee:
Prepare Children for Emergencies
Choosing a Diaper for Baby
Remedies for a Toddler with Diarrhea
Teaching a Two-Year-Old Independence