She’s 3 years and 2 months old but she can make life hard for me and for the entire household, imagine that. My toddler has outgrown her penchant for Mom’s approval. She started to have a mind of her own (what was I thinking?!) and often times notoriously challenges me (yes, especially me since I’m the easy target!). And do I have to tell you how hard that could be?
Anyway, here’s some tips (and tricks?!) I gathered while researching and taking comforts to these words I found on the Intarwebz.
1. Be consistent and steadfast. Always remind yourself that you’re the parent, no matter how worn out you are because toddlers can be super persistent. If you say NO, mean NO and find a way to discipline him or her and to let him or her know you are serious.
2. Punishment. Choose an appropriate punishment and obviously, the punishment should get his/her attention but not too harsh. You can explain to your toddler that if he/she acts out again, this is what will happen (and it will happen again!). Even at a young age, communication is important and after having to pay for the bad behaviors a few times, the child will understand.
3. Positive Reinforcement. Always give praises and rewards when your child do something good or when he/she behaves well. This does not mean though that you have to be soft on punishment. This actually balances your being a bad cop and a good cop.
4. Time Out. Well honestly, I have yet to try this method. When the child misbehaves, let them stay in one place in 5 minutes (not more than). Their little minds cannot comprehend time so anything more will only have opposite results.
5. Elimination. Children hate having favorite toys taken away but when it comes to how to discipline defiant toddlers, taking a toy or game away for a few days can do wonders. Simply explain to the toddler that when the behavior improves, the toy/game will be given back in a few days. Then, stick with your decision.