Parents love their kids so much when they listen. This means that parents have moments of disliking their toddlers. At this stage, children are discovering that their curiosity is limited by rules. They cannot just run off and play with the contents of the bin because they feel like it. They also cannot run about the street and doing as they please. This creates a lot of frustration for them.
They even start learning how to say “no” and they mean it. They also do everything else that they know presses parents’ buttons.
So disciplining a toddler is all about setting boundaries and limiting their curiosity.
Smacking them is not an option unless you fancy your day in court or a cell.
Be clear and consistent
According to Children’s Health, rules have to be set early on, and consistency has to be followed. It is confusing for children if one day they are allowed to hit you, and then the next day the can’t. If you believe it is never okay to hit people even out of mere frustration, then be clear that it is NEVER okay. If one day they hit and you say “I understand that you are frustrated”, then your initial rule that “hitting is not okay” goes out the window.
When your kids try to engage in something that will endanger them, distract instead of shout. Healthline recommends that you firmly tell them “no”, then call their name. “Once they’re fixated on you, call them over to you and show them something else they’ll like that is safe”.
Don’t set unnecessary limits
Kids love exploring this new big world. Sometimes parents limit everything and it creates frustration for them. So instead, help your child explore. Rather than stopping them every time they touch things Healthline suggests that you “help them figure out what is safe and not safe to touch. Try “no touch” for objects off-limits or unsafe, “soft touch” for faces and animals, and “yes touch” for safe items. And have fun thinking of other word associations like “hot touch,” “cold touch,” or “owie touch” to help tame your little one’s roaming fingers”.
Disciplining a curious human being requires parents to understand their curiosity, but still set boundaries. They will get on your last nerve, but remember that they are exploring, but also enjoy seeing you frustrated. So, handling things calmly will benefit both you and your toddler.