“Disciplining” a toddler


Lectures, emotional reactions, scolding and punishments do not give our toddler the clarity he needs, and can create guilt and shame.

Sometimes a child has a tantrum at home and needs to be taken to his room to flail and cry in our presence until he regains self-control. These are not punishments, but caring responses.

Source: janetlansbury.com

To cut story short, we do face difficult behaviour with this girl. We have power struggles with her at times and seriously difficult/annoying to deal with – to the extent of us/me clenching my fist.

Today she did it again. I wanted to give her a time out in the dark room, but now she cleverly opens the door room. Next, I put her on corner stand. The first corner stand didn’t work – as she “escaped”, yelling for help. The second corner stand (in the changing room) managed to calm herself down a little – and she kept saying sorry plus kissing me. And I did remind her what she needs to understand – that is she has to allow papa to shower her and allows us to put on clothes that she didn’t choose by herself. (After we were done, she ran to papa and cried for pity.)

I don’t wish to do this on a daily/weekly basis. Just hope she will internalise this.

*We can easily slapped our butt on our responsibility as parents by giving in to her requests, but that would certainly do more harm for her in the long term.

*Loving her does not mean keeping her happy all the time and avoiding power struggles. Often it is doing what feels hardest for us to do…saying “No” and meaning it.

*We believe she isn’t “naughty” but she is seeking independence and attention.

*Just to remind ourselves – we are no perfect parents and we do deal with a lot of emotions.

*Once again, our judging neighbours might think we are “abusing” her – as we battle with her screams during nap time, bath time, changing time and sleep time on a daily/weekly basis. (if we can’t do this at home, then where can we do this?)

“Lack of discipline is not kindness, it is neglect.” – Magda Gerber

One thought on ““Disciplining” a toddler

  1. Being a good parents certainly not easy as people/outsider thought of. My clerk told me just beat if he/she doesn’t listen and that’s the way parenting should be which I certainly don’t agree to. We must let the kids understand why punishment is given. Yesterday while papa was trying to put Jovial to sleep, Dworkin was making all sorts of noise to attract attention while I was pumping. I asked him to lower his tone and if he wishes papa to play with him he needs to let the sister sleep first. However, he increased his scream until unbearable level. I put him on the high chair and into the study room. He still crying, screaming and shouting, taking off his clothes etc. I told him I’m not gonna do anything nor beat him, until and unless he wears his cloth back I’m not gonna do anything with him. I closed the door and I walked away. He still cried for awhile but lower his tone. Soon he started to call mummy, still tearing but no more crying. He wore his cloth back and request to come down from the high chair. I asked if he can keep quiet so that Jovial can sleep, and he said yes. I guess he knew his mistake. Although I do not expect it not to happen again, I think this is the nature of kids, they need to be nurtured and reasoned. Only when both still don’t work, then punishment applies.

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