Discipline seems a heavy word to use for toddlers but if you don’t begin it now, it’s impossible to incorporate the good behavior in your child once they grow up.
Toddler tantrums are something too tricky to handle… after all these are the not-yet-rational, high-on-energy, imaginative lot who are just not yet open to the understanding of manners, good behavior and empathy. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you to cope with the everyday tantrums… be it for the toy at the general store or for simply eating their day meal.
Rule # 1 Keep Patience
For starters, you have to be very patient and I mean ‘very patient’. Just don’t lose your temper for if you do, you are setting an example for them and they will behave in the same way when you don’t listen to their demands.
Rule # 2 Appreciate Them
Be appreciative whenever they do anything nice. I know you are used to correcting them and telling them their mistakes and then correcting them again but don’t be the ever commanding mom. Tell them it’s so nice that they put their coloring book back to the shelf after using and they did not leave any sketch pen uncapped. By this they’ll not only get motivated but they’ll also learn to appreciate others.
Rule # 3 Be Preventive
Prevention is always better than cure. Ain’t it? Prevent any sharp, heavy or expensive objects to be kept under the reach of your 4years old, for these are the curious lil devils who want everything and anything. Make sure the toys you buy them are made of soft plastic or rubber and when they want to use the kitchen utensils instead of the toys keep a check on them.
Rule # 4 Make Rules
Make small interesting rules for them and for yourself. When they see you following the rule they will follow theirs too. For example: tell them if they sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon, you’ll take them out to the park in the evening and follow it religiously.
Rule # 5 Don’t Push Them Hard
Know where to push and where to let it be. Now you can’t expect the lil creature to act as you say at all times. There will be times when they do something disastrous but you have to know where it’s okay and where you have to set the limit. For ex : if the 4 year old nina is not ready to kiss her aunt or say please or wear the red dress it’s okay but when she is obstinate on playing with the crystal décor you don’t give it to her. Their lil minds are trying to figure out what’s okay and what not and you have to tell them.
Rule # 6 Say No to Unusual Demands
Be firm when the kid is making an unreasonable demand. Most of the parents love to spoil their kids by fulfilling every wish. Well, do fulfill their wishes but when the kid is being extremely stubborn or throwing tantrums (remember the yelling and crying for a doll at the departmental store), be firm and don’t listen to them just to get rid of the tantrum as this would give the child a reason to believe that the ‘tantrum trick’ works and the number of times you do the same their belief will be strengthened.
Rule # 7 No Yelling Always
Don’t be the ever-yelling mom. When you deny your kid of something try to sound reasonable. Yes! There will be times when they won’t listen to you but you can try and distract them to something else. For ex: when your kid is fixed on buying a doll tell them you won’t buy it coz the other doll they have will feel unloved then and will be sad so why not buy some chocolates instead. At the same time, don’t be too timid to raise voice. You should know when and to what extent you must raise your voice. I know it can irritate the hell out of you to see the newly bought Maybelline lip color in ruins or the room walls modern-arted with permanent marker and hence refer rule 3.
Rule # 8 Nurture Healthy Habits
Be consistent and try to develop healthy habits. Set small rewards but don’t overdo it to the extent that your child won’t move without getting anything in return. Taking them out to the park if they take 2 hour fiesta is a safe deal and try to make it a habit.
Rule # 9 Know Your Child
Know your kid and respond accordingly. It is said that your own child teaches you parenting the best. When dealing with toddlers there is no thumb rule. Your kid maybe the easy going type or the one who needs more stringent behavior in order to learn. Keep in mind you are the role model of your child and you must be very careful how you behave.
Rule # 10 Be Easy on Them
Be sensible in what to expect out of your child. Don’t forget the fact that he/she is just a toddler and the world is a new place for him/her. Let them explore to the extent its safe for them. Don’t expect your lil one to sit peacefully on the chair when you take them out to the restaurant. Let them roam around and keep an eye on them.