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Disciplining Toddlers

How much discipline is too much/too less?

Toddlers are known to throw tantrums and dissolve into puddle of tears at the drop of hat, likewise they can wring out tears from their parents eyes as well. At times they can just be so irritating that the caretakers may have to bring out every ounce of patience to stop themselves from whacking the toddler who is throwing tantrums at full swing. 

Many times, parents, especially moms have to walk down the path of embarrassment when the toddler decides to throw a super tantrum in middle of a party, in a mall, or may be even in a silent prayer congregation. Even those parents who have shed tears in silence when their toddler’s threw tantrum will not hesitate to throw accusing looks towards the tormented parent without showing any empathy. 

As babies become our world, we tend to make a world of their every need. At every step, we start wondering, how this would affect my baby. We dance to their tunes, rush to their help and give them what they want, if we can get it for them by any means. 

Slowly, months flow by and when the baby turn’s 2-3 year old, we realize we have made some huge parenting mistakes. We have a little typhoon on hands without any clue how to control the toddler.

How much is too much?

When children reach the milestone of 18-24 months, they start to become more independent and discover themselves as individuals with choices of their own to make. Unfortunately, this development is not accompanied by the ability to communicate and reason in a manner which adults can understand. Moreover, at this stage there is very self-control exhibited by them. 

If you were too lenient and giving in to every whims of your baby, then you may be in deep trouble when the terrible twos arrive. How to know whether you need to pull up your socks? When your toddler wants everything to be done her way without wanting to listen to you, it is a sign that your discipline needs to buck up. 

You should understand that by expecting too little and giving too much, be it toys, unnecessary help or flexibility in behaviours, you are actually hindering the emotional growth and development of your child. Such pampered children will have very low coping skills, and may take drastic steps in future when faced by life challenges or failures. 

Another mistake that may cost you dearly is – giving in to attention seeking behaviour of your child. 

Discipline your child early

Babies are cute and cuddly, but that does not mean that you cannot introduce discipline to them. Be calm, be patient, yet be firm with your baby. This will pave way to a better parenting discipline as your baby grows. 

Don’t hesitate to say ‘No’ to your child, worrying that your child may not love you. Giving in to their demands does not make them love you either, because the one time you say ‘no’ will spell disaster in your life. Make your child understand that there are certain things they can have, and certain things they cannot. 

Same way, lay strict lines in behaviours as well. Buddy parenting is welcome, but do not lose your power to guide your child in the right direction. You have to set limit in certain areas of your child’s life. 

In today’s world, when both parents are working, they try to make it up to their child by giving in too much to compensate for their absence. This leads to demanding and indulging behaviour in the child. Parents need to understand that limit-setting and teaching early discipline is probably one of the most loving things they can do to their child, since this will make him/her accepted and loved in the outside world as well. A pampered child will have to be content only with the love of the pampering caretakers. 

Discipline is not as tough as it seems to be. The trick is to know the rules and be consistent with them.