Discipline is important to teach the baby the difference between right and wrong. It is important to start from an early age so that comprehension occurs. It also teaches the child self control and respect for other people’s rights, belongings and feelings. It is also needed to protect and safeguard your baby against the mischiefs of toddlerhood or babyhood.
There are certain universal tenets of discipline that apply to all children although families may differ on their core values. Until children can grasp on the concept of safety, parents have the utmost responsibility of keeping their children safe and instilling in them this crucial aspect of their own safety and well-being.
It is also important to let the child know that he/she will be loved unconditionally even after a rebuke. Effective discipline is all about a healthy parenting where you are not overly permissive nor too dominating or authoritative. Discipline varies from child to child, as kids are temperamentally different from one another. Here are some ways of enforcing discipline.
The Best Strategies For Disciplining Toddlers
You have to start setting limits on a child’s behaviour right from babyhood. Giving babies the leeway of doing things their way just because they are small violates other people’s rights. Ten months of age does not mean your baby tears other people’s books or breaks glasses.
Set rules and boundaries on issues, which are important to you like neatness, dining manners and etiquettes. Start early but expect that it will take time to get ingrained.
Don’t Name Call
Do not call the child bad or call him/her names. This will only make the child less confident and he/she will develop self-esteem issues.
Be consistent with discipline. If a toddler is not allowed to touch something one day, then the same rule needs to also be enforced on the corresponding day. Lack of consistency can send confusing signals to the child.
If the baby is touching a wire, start with a ‘No’. In all probability, the child will not pay heed. In such cases follow through is crucial. Follow through by taking the wire out of the baby’s hands or putting him/her away at a safe place where he/she cannot touch the wire.
Babies have limited and selective memories. You may have to keep repeating do’s and don’ts repeatedly over several weeks or months before the child begins to understand.
Mean it When you Say it
Be firm with your ‘no’. Smiling or laughing impishly after you have said no will make you lose face with your child. The child will not take you seriously. Too many ‘no’s lose their importance.
The child should not be raised in an unforgiving environment. The ‘no’ should be exercised only when the child’s safety is threatened. Let the child learn from his/her own mistakes.
Correction and Reward work Better
Praise, applaud and clap for the child when he/she does something nice. This will give the child a sense of achievement and will reinforce the behaviour. Positive reinforcement in the form of praise is important for a child’s self-esteem.
Parents too Should Bend
It is not derogatory to apologize to your baby or child when you are in the wrong. It is also important to respect your baby/toddler and not always demand that things be done your way. If you want the child to act his/her age, you need to act your age as well.
Treat the child with respect. Do not expect the child to say please and thank you unless you are setting a good example yourself. Do not scold or rebuke the baby or child in front of others. Yes, it is very important even for small children.
Do not set impossible and unreasonable standards of behaviour. Do not exercise too much of control either. Children and babies need to be on their own and become independent.