Discipline is essential to the normal, healthy development of any child. Here are a few guidelines to guide your decisions regarding this somewhat controversial issue.
Make sure that you and your spouse share the same set of rules regarding discipline. Toddlers quickly learn whom they can manipulate the most. If your spouse disciplines the child and you disagree, discuss it behind closed doors and not in front of your child.
Base your discipline strategy on boundaries. Decide how far your toddler can push you in certain circumstances. When you have clearly defined the boundaries, stick to them. The most important rule is to be consistent, no matter where you are or what mood you are in, be consistent.
Accept that when in public, no matter how you discipline your child, someone will disagree. Choose whatever method suits your child and stick with it. Discipline your child for her sake not yours!
When deciding on boundaries, remember that children, indeed human beings, are by no means perfect so you should not expect perfect behaviour from your child. Your child needs to be taught right from wrong and it is only when they are taught that they learn, it does not always come naturally.
Do not nitpick and reprimand your child for any little misbehaviour. This will slowly kill her spirit. Remain calm. Do not scream and go hysterical. You will frighten your child unnecessarily and allow her to think that this is acceptable behaviour.
Deal with a situation immediately. Do not revert to “Wait until your father gets home.”
Try not to put your child into situations that will cause misbehaviour. For example: Don’t take a tired toddler shopping. Do not create confrontations.
Once the discipline is over. Carefully explain to your child that you love her but it was what she did that made you angry.
Never bear a grudge! Remember you are the adult in this relationship.