We all agree that toddlers are a handful. Managing them can be overwhelming. However, we will also agree that toddlers are cute, and disciplining these cute little bundles of joy becomes difficult. The internet is full of parenting tips for toddlers but it is difficult to know which toddler parenting tips are most effective. As a parent, finding the best tips for parenting toddlers will require research, patience, and implementation on your part. To make it easy, in this article, we share with you parenting tips for toddlers’ discipline and encouraging good behavior.
Establish an Emotional Connection with Your Child
Parenting plans for toddlers need to be different from the ones you used for your infants. When your child turns into a toddler from an infant, you will notice a lot more activity. As toddlers, they move around a lot more. This allows them a chance to explore their surroundings and reach out to objects they feel curious about. Denying them something, say a coffee mug that they want to touch, feel, and explore can lead to a tantrum. This is their way of telling you that they are hurt and upset. Since they are still too young to comprehend and control their emotions, throwing tantrums is their only way to grab your attention and tell you how bad they feel.
In such situations, you must remind yourself that though your child cannot comprehend their feelings, you can. Being a parent, you are capable of not only understanding and controlling your emotions, but also connecting with your toddler’s emotions. Remember, scolding, punishing, or admonishing your child is not a healthy parenting method and can scar your child for life.
Positive parenting is all about understanding your child’s unique needs and catering to them without using force or aggression. It involves establishing an emotional connection with your child and creating a space where your toddler feels safe to be themselves, but is also aware of the boundaries they must adhere to. Are you wondering what do parents of toddlers need? The answer is simple. You need some smart parenting tips for toddlers that you can easily implement.
Also Read: When does Your Baby Begin to Recognise You?
Here are Some Smart and Positive Parenting Tips for Toddlers
- Allow your toddler to behave their age. Understand they will move around, hold on to furniture and drapes to support themselves, grab things they can access, and most likely drop them within seconds. Avoid a conflicting situation with your child by creating a space that conforms to these aspects of your toddler’s age in mind. Your favourite glassware can wait a few more months before it can adorn your coffee table.
- Try to keep calm when your child is having a tough time. Remind yourself that this is normal and your child needs to express themselves before they can calm down. Allow your child time to vent out. Do not shun your baby or shout at them during this time. Understand, they will not listen to you now. So, wait and let the time pass.
- Be with your child, physically and emotionally, when they are throwing a tantrum. You do not have to support your child or give in to their demands. Just be there and let the moment pass.
- Once your child calms down, have a conversation with them. Tell them what happened verbally and how they felt. Explain to them why you could not do what they wanted. They may not remember any of this when they have the next meltdown, but over time, they will start correlating their actions and your reactions.
- Through stories and play, teach them about different feelings and emotions, and how each one makes you feel. Give them words to express their emotions, so that the next time they experience an extreme emotion, they can communicate their feelings to you in a better way.
Discipline Your Toddler Gently
Disciplining your toddler requires patience. Do not lose your cool when your toddler is throwing a tantrum. Physically hitting your child, yelling at your child, or sending them away can have long-term consequences on your toddler’s mental growth. Positive parenting involves explaining the error to your child and making them understand what is acceptable and what is not. Rather than punishing your child for their mistakes try to reward them for their good behaviours. A punishment-based parenting technique can eventually turn your toddler into a rebel. Therefore, focus on a reward-based parenting style to encourage good behaviour in your child.
Here are Some Parenting Tips for Parents of Toddlers to Encourage Good Behavior.
- Respond positively to your toddler’s good behaviour
- Give them a star if they do anything good
- Do not criticise your child and call them a bad boy or girl
- Explain their mistake in simple words
- Do not indulge in tantrums
- Go to a different space when you see them throwing a tantrum
- Teach your child better ways to express their frustration
- Limit the number of choices you give them to two or three. Too many choices can spoil your child
- Stay calm when your child is throwing a tantrum
Encourage Good Behaviour
As a parent of a toddler, you might be reading tons of toddler parenting books and websites to learn about the right technique to encourage good behaviour in your toddler. The truth is that there is no right or wrong technique. A lot of parenting is intuitive and something that you learned from your parents. However, even though there is no right or wrong way, there are a few things that you should avoid.
Modern parenting is different and research says that encouraging positive behaviour in your child can go a long way in inculcating good values in your child. While parenting tips for a newborn mostly focus on feeding, cleaning, soothing, and putting your baby to sleep, parenting tips for toddlers focus on teaching and disciplining them.
Here are a few tips that would encourage good habits and behaviour in your toddler:
- If you want to teach your toddler good manners, try to be a role model first. Children learn by watching adults. If you become a good role model, they will automatically imitate you. If you want them to say “sorry” and “thank you”, you should say these words more often to them.
- We often feel that kids are too young to understand feelings. Toddlers as young as two years old can understand emotions like sadness, anger, and happiness. Express your feelings honestly to them. This will help them understand things from your perspective. Always begin your sentences with “I” and then tell them how you feel. For example, “I am sad because there is so much noise and I cannot hear anything properly.”
- Be attentive to their feelings. Validate their feelings. Listening actively to what your child is trying to express is the best thing that you can do as a parent. Do not ignore their feelings. If they are upset about anything, do not say, “It is okay, nothing happened.” Rather, say, “ I am sorry, I can understand that you are feeling sad that your toy broke.” Listening to, and validating your toddler’s feelings makes them feel heard and respected. In the long term, it can help them cope with complex emotions like stress and tension better. Knowing that your parents care for you has a huge impact on a person’s emotional and behavioural development.
- Never be flaky about the promises you make to your child. Keeping promises helps your child build trust. They also realise that things are supposed to be done in a certain way.
- Give them crisp and clear instructions. The brain of a toddler is still developing, they will not understand complicated instructions. Keep the instructions short and simple like “Pick up the red toy”, and “Give me the yellow book from that table”. Always say “thank you” and praise them once they follow your instructions.
- Give them responsibilities. Small children are capable of doing small errands. Make them responsible to pick up their toys after playtime. These small habits will teach them to become more responsible.
- As a parent, do not encourage whining in your child. Say it once and move on. Once you become firm, they understand that their whining is not helping.
- Have a sense of humour. As parents, we are often so stressed out that we lash out at the babies. Including humour can help in stressful situations. Include songs, dance, tickling, giggling, and other fun elements in your daily chore. Your child will always reflect your behaviour. If they see that you are relaxed, they will feel the same.
Toddlers can be a handful. Hence, focus on the most important aspects instead of trying to manage everything. Remember that this is the time when their brain is developing at super speed and positive parental care and involvement can always ensure healthy brain development. Understanding child development stages can also help you manage your toddler better. Also, always remember to talk to your paediatrician if you are worried about your child’s health and development.