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Disciplining a Toddler - Tips from a Gentle Mother

Updated on January 11, 2015

As a mother of a two year son, I am faced everyday (100 times a day) with situations in which my toddler is either-

A) Throwing a fit

B) Making a mess

C) Using bad manners

D) Putting himself in danger.

While I am an organized and well-mannered person, my heart wants to be a flexible, happy caregiver, who can let a helpless tot get his way, have too much, run around freely, and never break into tears, simply to bring him joy.........

But my good intentions to fill my child's day with joy would be doing him a great disservice. We parents have a great responsibility to raise our children correctly for their own future success.

Starting young, I am attempting to establish that my son always listen to his father and I. I attempt to mix disciplines and lectures within the framework of happier moments, so that my son sees that following the rules correctly is not a negative experience, that cannot co-exist within other moments of fun.

As a more naïve mother, I had felt my son would hear and understand when I told him he was doing something wrong, and would act accordingly to correct the behavior in order to please me. I had hoped gentle words, in the simplest form for a two-year-old, would resolve the issue.

But my gentle words were useless. I'm sure he understood my English, and I would attempt to be stern, but without consequences to his behavior, my words meant little to him.

While we may be less hard on our children, others will not, and they will pick up on discipline issues.

Finally, I realized I needed to be more aggressive with my style. I put my foot down, raised my voice, with sharp clear interjections, steady eye contact, and steady tones, I made sure I was heard, and understood.

I noticed a stark difference right away. A quick glance, and my son now correctly reacts to my requests (proving that he really understood all along)!

Its against my nature to talk in this way to anyone and I would prefer my toddler respond to my gentle coos, but I realized that after a few strong sessions of " Strict, Tough" mommy, I can waltz by my husband with ease, listing requests which my toddler abides by (if I felt the need to show-off).

I feel like a better mother, who will be raising a son with more success in the social world, because I put my foot down with discipline. If we can't control them now, we may not have that influence we need when our toddlers are teens facing temptation and dangers.

Do your children listen to one parent more than the other?

See results

We are their first, most important teacher

Be firm and consistent, follow through, stand up and get involved, and demand respect. By doing so, you will be teaching your little one to do the same!

Remember, its not about the stained walls, food on the floor, toys thrown around, a tantrum, or a stolen toy. We are teaching our children to be respectful, noble, well-mannered members of society, and THAT is why he can't have another cookie.

Its hard to play hardball with these little guys!

Be firm and consistent, follow through, stand up and get involved, and demand respect. By doing so, you will be teaching your little one to do the same!


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