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Toddler Discipline

Creative Discipline For Preschoolers

By: Carmen Benton Editor Baby-books-guide

When it comes to toddler discipline, some parents, resort to spanking or other means of corporal punishment, however what messages are they sending toddlers whose view of the world and those in it is just beginning to be formed?

When we spank children as a form of discipline we may well be teaching them:
  • It is ok to hit someone.
  • People can dominate you.
  • You will do as you are told and not think for yourself.
  • You must be scared of people as they will harm you.
  • It is ok to act in anger.

Are these the long term messages that you would like your children to have?

As children's self concept and self esteem is developing it is crucial that they are given guidance on 'how' to behave and the way they are disciplined is a very big step in this process.

The first step in creative toddler discipline is to look at yourself rather than your child. What is it that you are doing or not doing that is perpetuating the problem or causing it? We call this 'parenting discipline'.

Here are some things that can help you develop your parenting discipline style:

Ask yourself why your preschooler is misbehaving and address that

preschool disciplineChildren often act out or misbehave for a reason. It may be that they are craving attention and they get more attention from the adults in their life for negative rather than positive behaviours. It may be that a child really does not know what is the right behaviour and needs to be taught that. It may also be that a child has no idea what the expectations are from their parents, or that they are simply bored.

Rather than reacting straight away why not take a step back and evaluate the situation, you may be able to change one small thing to prevent your child from continuing to misbehave.

Look at your expectations.

Preschoolers are young children. They are still learning the difference between right and wrong. They do not see the world through the same eyes that we do. It is our job to teach them. Are you expecting too much of your child? Are you looking at what is realistic given their age and the environment they are in? Young children for example have short attention spans. It is unrealistic to expect a young child to sit and concentrate on something for longer than 10 minutes. Children will act out and misbehave in such situations. Would it be right to discipline a child if we were expecting too much of them in the first place? It would be much better to keep our expectations of them in line with what they can do and praise them accordingly.

Another aspect of your expectations is to ensure that children know what we expect from them in different situations. It is important to be clear with them and set appropriate boundaries and limits.

Toddler discipline is unique in the sense that you need to teach your toddler over and over again what is ok and what is not. They will need to learn this many times so it would not be realistic to assume they got it the first time!

Effective Toddler Discpline

Effective toddler discipline is often down to our own form of parenting discipline. Continue to think of yourself as your child's teacher with all things you do as discipline for preschoolers is a very valuable oppourtunity for you to teach your child the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

Keep your discipline loving and caring rather than punative. Your child will then over time become responsible for their own actions which is the main aim.

Learn More About:

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