Disciplining Your Toddler: Positive Strategies That Work

mickey-mouse-coloring-2As the mother of a toddler, I know how hard it can be at times to meet his daily needs and try and teach him the life skills that he needs to be successful. In particular, as we begin to move toward that tricky second year of life, discipline is becoming more of a focus. The following ideas have helped my family (and my sanity) as we attempt to raise a well-rounded, happy child.

Your toddler is never too young for a sticker chart! We started a sticker chart with my son when he was around fifteen months old, and he immediately took to it. I felt like I was constantly putting him in time out (more on that in a minute), and I wanted to positively reinforce his good behaviors. My little guy loves Mickey Mouse, so I made up a simple chart that had a large grid with 30 different squares on it; pictures of Mickey and his friends were added all throughout the chart. Each time my son does something positive, such as using his manners, helping clean up, or laying still when he gets his diaper changed, he earns a sticker. He has loved the concept from the very beginning; we also reward him with three M&Ms when he earns a particular amount of stickers. I noticed a quick difference in his behavior as a result of the chart.

Similar to the tip above, your child is never too young to begin time out! It is important, however, to keep time out reflective of your child’s age; if he is one, put him in time out for one minute and so on. We started time out with our son just after he turned one. It only took him about a week to understand that he had to sit still, without his toys, while he was in time out. Since he is so little, he gets three chances; when he is doing something he shouldn’t, he is told one. If he does it again, he gets a two, and if it happens a third time, he is told three and he goes in time out. Now, he generally stops negative behaviors at once we get to two.

Hopefully, this information will be helpful as you work with your child.


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