Children are never too young to learn “discipline”, so a toddler needs to be disciplined too.
No one is born with disciplined behavior. As a parent, it’s your job to teach them the difference between right and wrong. This job might be tough and needs a lot of patience but it is the most important time to develop your child’s subconscious.
So, disciplining a toddler is as important as disciplining a pre-schooler, junior, or even teenager.
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What age a Toddler is?
After passing the stage of newborn and infancy, the age of 1-3 years is called “toddler age”. Toddler word is derived from the word “toddle”, which means “unsteady walk” just like a toddler walks. Ref.
A child grows too fast physically before the age of 1 year while a toddler’s physical growth might be slowed down but there are a lot of emotional and psychological developments are going on. This is the time of great cognitive and social developments.
Why disciplining a toddler is important?
A toddler’s age is sometimes called “terrible twos” because it is termed as the most terrible stage of a child’s life.
This is because of the rapid changes in the child’s moods and behaviors and the level of difficulty a parent might face in dealing with a toddler.
That’s why disciplining a toddler is way too difficult but it is the most important thing to do at this age.
A child will be 100% potty trained and sleep trained with time even if you don’t train them. But if you won’t discipline them at this time it is very unlikely that they will follow a positive behavior later in their life.
How to discipline a toddler?
Here are some most effective and research approved tips to discipline a toddler:
1- Be a role model
This is the very first piece of advice for a reason! None of the strategies will work if you won’t change yourself. You have to set a visible example for your kid. They will start absorbing your behavior even at the age of 0.
2- Stay calm
Of course! Dealing with a toddler is not less than war but you, as a parent, must have patience.
Shouting, yelling, or even hitting, will only teach your child that these behavior are Okay to follow when you are angry. They will repeat when they will get a chance.
3- Consistency is the key to discipline
Reading the ways to discipline a child and implementing the tactics for a day or two, is not going to work my dear! You have to be consistent. I suggest that keep studying and keep following.
4- Have a consistent routine.
More often, it is possible that a tantrum is a result of something related to a routine.
A child may be hungry, sleepy, or tired. Having a consistent routine is going to help a lot. Don’t miss out on following this advice.
5- Give them choices
Do not get confused about whether to let your child choose or not.
Of course! You want them to be self-dependent but at the same time, you want them to choose the right thing.
Don’t worry! You can offer them choices. “Do you want to wear the black jacket or the green?” cool?
6- Praise them on little things
It is human nature to like a compliment. Just like an adult, a child will also repeat the act on which he/she got a compliment. Praise them on little things.
7- Ignore the toddler sometimes
Always directing them will eventually get them bored of the directions. Learn where to keep silent and ignore them. Ignore the acts which are not much harmful.
8- Distract and redirect to the discipline
There will be many situations when you will feel helpless. Try the “distract and redirect” method then. Distract them from the thing they are throwing a tantrum for.
Take them to another activity and later on tell them what the right choice was.
9- Offer an Alternate
It is not always necessary to stop a kid from an activity. You can also offer alternatives.
They are trying to draw on a wall? It’s ok. Offer a colorful paper and praise their drawing on the paper. Later on, engage them in cleaning the wall (even if the wall is not painted). They will know the importance of a clean wall.
10- Think like a toddler
To understand a baby, you have to think like a baby. Know that the value of a toy is “nothing” for an adult but this might be a world for a kid. Know that!
You can discipline a toddler when you will understand her feelings.
11- Make the routine fun, but disciplined
Find fun ways! Make the routine tasks “fun”. Sing a poem while the Bath time. Prepare food in fun shapes. Get them different cushions of different colors to sleep, but that doesn’t mean that you can let them paint the wall for fun. Maintain the discipline.
12- Play games to teach them
Children like playing! They won’t get your idea behind your “playing”. You can arrange a race of “Who will organize the more number of cushions?” “Who is going to finish the meal first?”
13- Stop insisting please!
Imagine someone is insisting you a lot to eat something you don’t like. Would you? No! you won’t! So, please stop insisting.
You can mix things up. Distract them sometimes. You can offer a reward at times. Try to manage things differently and stop insisting.
14- Children need attention
All a child need is “attention”. They don’t understand how interesting a Facebook post is! They won’t try to realize the importance of a phone call from a dear friend.
So, make your child your first priority. Answer them when they question. Talk to them while working. Engage them in your tasks.
15- Make the communication simple
A kid won’t sit up to read a guidebook on discipline. Their busy brain and energized body will not allow them to listen to a long sentence.
Instead of saying that Baby! You are doing it wrong. Please do not hit me because it hurts. Try saying “No hitting! it hurts!” They are more likely to listen.
Toddler discipline is based on easy and soft communication.
16- Save the “NO”
Saying the same word will result in the loss of importance of that word. Try mixing things up! Instead of saying that “don’t throw the food!” Try saying “The food is for eating, eat it!”
17- Double check your expectations
Do not expect a 2-3-year-old child to sit and have a nice talk with you.
Understand that they are kids! You can teach them a toddler’s discipline but not an adult’s discipline. Set practical expectations.
18- Don’t give up
Don’t lose patience. These things are not going to last forever. In no time, you will have an organized home. Your children will start sleeping on their own. They will not only turn into an adult and take their own responsibilities but they will start helping you out too. Time will pass! Don’t give up!
19- Speak the love language of children
Remember that children won’t understand your love for your actions. They don’t know the efforts you put into preparing their meal and getting them to bed on time to save their health. You have to tell them in their language. Express your love in their way.
20- Screen times! Oh no!
Last but not least! The use of screens disturbs brainpower. There are so many researches stating that screen time changes a child to a whole 180 degrees.
Most parents offer screen time to their kids to have some “me time” but the reality is that they are ruining their own day. The more a child will use the screen, the more she will throw tantrums on little things.
Follow these 20 tips. I’m sure you will see a big change in your kid’s routine and behavior.
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