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Thursday, January 11, 2018

4 Things You Need To Know About Disciplining Toddlers

Today we have a guest post from Christine Keys. She is a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network, and I love her take on discipline. These are 4 very important things to remember when it comes to disciplining toddlers!

You'll find my guest post over at Rogers Party of 5. Today I'm writing about tactics to use when your toddler is delaying bedtime!

Disciplining. Ugh. It is the part of parenting that I like the least. However, it is so vitally important. So many behaviours are learnt, and therefore it is imperative that parents teach their children what is, and what is not acceptable. This is a service both to the child and to the rest of society. Today I want to touch on four things that you need to know about disciplining toddlers.

It Isn't Fun

If you discipline your child and feel awful while doing it, you're not alone! It isn't fun. At all. I hurt when my child hurts. I don't like it when they're upset or having a difficult time. However, I would rather my child learnt an important life lesson at age 2 where the consequences are fairly tame than to have to learn it at age 22 when there are some really important things at stake.

It Is Essential To Follow Through

Kids are smart. Even smarter than we give them credit. If you warn them about a potential consequence and then fail to follow through, they WILL remember that. Not only does this make your job more difficult, but it creates a real sense of insecurity for the child.

If you come through one time but don't on another, your child is for sure going to be upset and confused. And if they think you aren't going to follow through then you can bet on the fact that they will push even harder to see how far they can get before you decide enough is enough.

I know discipline is hard work, but it is so important to follow through and set those clear boundaries for your child.

Consistency Counts

This point was kind of touched on above. Consistency goes a long way in helping your child with both feeling secure and having a clear understanding of real consequences. It will also help your child to learn faster and make discipline less frequent in the long run.

Don't Expect Instant Results

This one can be difficult to swallow. You try disciplining for a certain behaviour a couple times and there's no positive result. Your child's behaviour remains the same and you throw your hands in the air and declare that disciplining doesn't work.

Well, just wait a minute because some of the best advice I got was from a fellow mama who cautioned me that just because you don't get instant results doesn't mean it isn't working. Children are not robots. There is no clear-cut formula to get them to behave in a certain way.

Remember how important I said consistency was? Well, there you go. You have to be consistent AND patient with a lot of areas as far as discipline goes.

To summarise. Discipline is difficult, for both parent and child.

However, in the words of my friend Val:

"Just because something is hard to do, doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do."

Most of the important things in life are challenging. Those challenges are what create character and integrity. It is our job as parents to put aside our personal feelings of discomfort in order to do what is right and good for our children.

Christine is mother to two. She blogs over at You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.
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