Bringing Home Baby: Training and Discipline – Toddler Tips

Have you started negotiating with your toddler yet? Or stood there in public as your child throws a temper tantrum on the floor? You aren’t alone.

“Navigating and learning how to provide discipline from toddlerhood through the teenage years is one of the greatest challenges of parenting,” said Rachelle Hodel, APRN, Memorial Physician Services—Koke Mill. “It’s important to take proactive approaches to discipline, always be consistent, and not to respond in anger, such as yelling or physical punishment. Children learn from how we react to them and certain situations.”

Hodel encourages you to teach your child and mention rules and expectations on a regular basis, not just when they are misbehaving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using both positive and negative consequences in response to your child’s behaviors.

  • Positive consequences include rewards, praise and attention for behaviors you want your child to repeat.
  • Negative consequences let your child know that you do not want them to repeat the behavior. These include ignoring, distraction, delaying a privilege, taking away a privilege, time out and allowing natural consequences (a broken toy they played with roughly).

Consider the following steps when utilizing negative consequences:

  1. Identify misbehavior.
  2. Give warning.
  3. Give consequence.
  4. Tell them why.
  5. Go back to positive communication.

“It’s important to take action on behaviors as soon as possible, especially among toddlers who have short attention spans,” said Hodel. “Starting and maintaining clear boundaries when children are younger will provide them with direction on how to behave as they continue to grow. Know that you aren’t alone, and speak with your pediatrician if you have concerns or need help or advice on discipline.”

Need advice about discipline?

Speak with your pediatrician or primary care provider:

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