At this age children may
begin to misbehave intentionally (as they are testing your limits),
and they can still do things that are dangerous or disruptive. The
best way to deal with these behaviors is to try and distract them
with a different, safer activity. You should also provide them with
a safe environment, so that they are able to explore without any
dangers or risks of getting in trouble. As they are getting older
you will also need to set limits and discipline them at times and
keep them on a daily routine. It is probably better to try and
reward and praise good behavior to reinforce it, rather then having
to change bad behaviors.
Toddlers should begin to learn to follow simple rules, respond to
your commands, have the self control to wait for things that he
wants and deal with any frustrations that he may develop from not
getting his own way. These tasks should become more commonplace as
your child becomes a preschooler.Children misbehave for many
reasons, and it is important to try and find the reason for your
child's behavior problems. Most toddlers misbehave as they are
trying learn what their limits are and what they can get away with.
Other reasons can include jealousy, feeling that they aren't getting
enough positive attention, being frustrated, and during times of
stress. Remember that when your child misbehaves, he will usually
get a lot of attention. Even though this attention is negative, it
can sometimes reinforce the problem behaviors if this is the only
type of attention that he is getting. This is why time out and
extinction and many other discipline techniques work.
Avoid yelling or hitting or
getting too worked up during episodes when your child misbehaves.
This just increases the negative attention that your child receives
and reinforces that it is alright to get out of control and be
aggressive. Remain calm while administering punishment. You should
walk away if you feel that you may physically hurt your child.
It is probably better to try and reward and praise good behavior
to reinforce it, rather then having to change bad behaviors. To
promote good behavior and prevent behavior, you should spend special
time with your child as often as possible, so that he is getting all
of the attention that he needs. You should also be very clear about
your expectations for your child, state rules in clear and simple
terms, apply consequences for misbehavior as soon as possible after
the incident, make punishments brief, be consistent with your rules
and punishments and learn to ignore minor or unimportant
Some tips for effectively disciplining your child include trying
to avoid power struggles, offer simple choices as
often as possible, make a game out of good behavior (have a race to
put toys away, etc.), plan ahead (if he always gets in
trouble at the grocery store have a plan setup before you go), and
learn to pay positive attention to your child by catching'
them being good. Let them know when you are happy that they are
being good or when they have accomplished a positive
Some strategies that can work to improve your child's behavior
include allowing your child to see the natural consequences
of his actions (if he throws and breaks a toy, then he can't play
with it), logical consequences (if he doesn't put his toys
away, then you will put them away and he can't play with them all
day), withholding privileges (find things that your child
enjoys, for example, playing Nintendo, renting movies, etc. and take
them away for a few days when he misbehaves) and time out.
Reward or token systems can also be effective in changing bad
Extinction is another discipline technique that may work
in your school age child. With this technique, when your child
misbehaves or is diruptive, you stop paying attention to your child.
This approach is best for temper tantrums and frequent whining, or
other disruptive type behaviors.
Always remember to be firm, consistent, calm and loving in
whatever discipline methods you choose. You can have a discussion
about the misbehavior at a later time when you have both calmed down
druing which you can try and suggest a more appropriate alternative
behavior. Also, reassure your child that it is just the behavior
that your don't like.
|Temper tantrums are a way for your child to express feelings of
anger or frustration. While they are a normal part of the
development of toddlers, they should be occurring less frequently
after his second birthday. They usually increase when children are
hungry, tired or ill and you should try to help them cope with these
You should try to ignore attention-seeking or demanding tantrums
and avoid situations that you know will lead to a tantrum (including
changes in their regular daily schedule). If you can see that your
child is getting overly frustrated and that a tantrum is coming, you
can try to distract him and shift his attention to something
Help your child to realize that temper tantrums don't work are
not going to help them get out of doing things that they need to do.
For tantrums that are disruptive, you should give your child a time
out. Remember to praise your child when he controls his temper and
cooperates with what you want him to do and set a good example for
your child by remaining calm and not getting fired-up or out of
|Time out is a very effective discipline technique and will work
with children as young as 18-24 months old. By using this method of
discipline you are giving your child time out from positive or
negative reinforcement (which includes any parental reaction such as
yelling or hitting) after he misbehaves. Prepare a time out chair,
which can be a chair in any room of the house, a space on the floor,
the child's bed, etc. or any place where he is isolated from
interaction with others. Use a kitchen timer to count down your
child's punishment time, which is usually one minute per year of
Unlike the way it is used for older kids, time out for toddlers
is more so that you can give your child time to regroup and calm
down. A toddler will likely not sit still in a time out chair, even
for a minute or two.
At this age, you really want to spend most of your time on
discipline and not so much on punishment. Stay calm and help your
child learn what his limits are.