We often hear frustrated parents wondering how they could go about disciplining their children. This is an important parenting skill that you must learn. Speaking realistically, however, toddlers cannot be disciplined because they are much too young to understand the concept of punishment and discipline for inappropriate behaviors (which you have some kind of child behaviour checklist). Scolding, hand-slaps, spanking, time-outs and corner time are still beyond their comprehension.
However, just because your toddler cannot understand these forms of correction, it does mean that you are allowing them to continue doing these bad behaviors. If you ever read the book, 123 Magic, you will at least have a background on this.
Important to mention here now is that be wary of persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behaviors. This could mean that your child is suffering from ODD. Read some more about oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
Reasons Behind Tantrums and Fits
Just why is it that children and toddlers throw tantrums and fits? Truth to tell, they are not doing this deliberately to irritate or annoy you. Since infancy, these little children know that it is only through crying and throwing fits that his or her needs could be met. Another reason is that your he can be under some stress, hence doing toddler tantrums, especially when it comes to relating with their parents and/or their siblings.
In the past, it was recommended that fussy toddlers be set away or made to sit in the corner. However, research studies have shown that such measures will only foster feelings of resentment in the child, believing that their parents pushed them away. With this kind of punishment, you end up having kids who are clingy, afraid and dependent upon their parents.
How To Handle Tantrums
If you cannot punish your toddler, how can you manage his or her tantrums? One way of doing so is by checking your own behavior. Yes, as disturbing as it may seem, your toddler may be mimicking your reactions and actions. For example, if you are quick to lose your temper or are prone to mood swings, your toddler will follow your example. If you don’t want your toddler to develop inappropriate behaviors from you, strive to be a good role model. Be patient and don’t blow your stack if you don’t get what you want.
A very effective way to deal with toddlers is by practicing the art of diversion and if applicable, set ground and house rules. You probably have seen kids throw tantrums when they see a toy they like and their parents refuse to buy it for them. The trick here is to distract him before he throws a fit. If you notice your toddler staring at a toy, take his hand immediately and ask if he would like to eat ice cream or play in the playground. Or you could show him a different, less expensive toy, but make it appear more interesting than the toy he had been looking at earlier.
As mentioned earlier, toddlers can throw tantrums if they feel stressed. This often occurs if you don’t have an established routine at home. For example, if you cook meals at later times, your child will most likely become hungry and stressed. The same also follows if you don’t have fixed times for naps, play and sleep. Toddlers will feel less stressful if they know what particular activities come next. As an example, toddlers will be a lot easier to put to sleep in their beds if they know that they will have a nice warm bath and a bedtime story prior to sleep time.
Discover other important tips for disciplining children today!
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