What would you say the best method of punishing a toddler?
For those of you that have children ages 4 and below, what do you do to punish your children for misbehaving and/or throwing temper tantrums, biting, and other bad behaviors.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you don't want to counter a child's bad behavior with your own bad behavior such as yelling, hitting, isolating, or bribing. The child will grow up thinking that these are the proper ways to handle conflict. A healthy growing child needs to be firmly talked to and explained why the behavior is unacceptable. Take the time to do so in a calm but firm adult speaking voice! And always address a child's bad behavior the FIRST time it happens because letting it go will only fuel the child's nature to do it again. Make sure that the child is getting adequate positive and constructive attention to deter attention seeking behaviors. And make sure the child isn't emulating behaviors that he/she is learning from you!
You must always remember to stay calm whilst dealing with a toddler as they do react to you, so if you are shouting they they will take little notice of you, and smacking them just shows that it is ok to hit. Therefore encourage a time out area and get the child to stay there for a certain length of time (just don't forget about them). Alternatively if they have a favourite toy, dvd etc you could stop them using this as punishment or not allowing them to attend a party. These types of punishment make the child think about the consequences of being naughty before they actually do something they should not.
The best way to do that is to give the toddler a time out. Just put them on a chair, then keep them there, for say ten minutes.
It helps if you put down a clock so they know how long they have to stay there.
If they try to leave, put them back on the chair.
According to a pediatrician’s guide to your children’s health and safety on (keepskidshealth.com)
“Time out is a very effective discipline technique and will work with children as young as 18-24 months old. By using this method of discipline you are giving your child time out from positive reinforcement (which includes any parental reaction such as yelling or hitting) after he misbehaves”.
All you have to do is pick out a chain for your child, place it in a quite corner and have he/she sit in it for a little while.
Now while in the corner the idea is for them to have some alone time, no one can speak to or interact with them in anyway.
Of course it doesn’t work the same as it does with older children, because they will not stay in time out for any length of time. In this case it is the idea that they will have to go the timeout chair, being unable to interact with anyone else. This is very upsetting for them, so the next time when they misbehave ,you will only have to show them the chair.
I would suggest that you show your child the right way. If you have to punish them, I would suggest time out for 1 min and show them what they did wrong.
One time in her life she got one good swack on her bare little 3 year old bum. I never had to do it again. She had pulled her hand out of mine and run full tilt boogie across the road outside of our driveway entrance. She had let out a whoop of laughter and when I did catch up to her she was marched up two flights of stairs and over my knee she went. No fuss no tears only one strong message. You will never do that again. And she never did.
DO not give them extra attention- bad or good. Time out is good because toddlers can't be reasoned with when upset. I don't think a specific time limit is necessary, just until they calm down. Some people say 1 minute per 1 year of age but my daughter is 2 and she usually calms down after 1 minute so that's how long she stays.
In public, heading for the nearest quiet place (bathroom, etc) is best and waiting for htem to calm down in a quiet place.
VARIETY!! If the "crime" was really bad and you need to get a message across that will be well remembered, then spank. If you use one thing for everything them it loses it's effect. GET CREATIVE!! The other night my daughter wouldn't pick up her blocks so I suggested we take them to her bed and she could sleep with them. She initially thought this was neat but soon found out it was uncomfortable and quickly put them away.
Always talk to toddlers in caveman (simple) communication and short sentences they can grasp.
We have a 4 year old and to start, we never say punish. It has a much too negative connotation. We instead always say 'consequence' to him.
What we do is give him time outs if his behavior is really poor. We also explain why we're giving him the time out and do our best to not raise our voices to him.
We don't have set times for our time-outs. We instead wait until he calms down. It has sometimes taken upwards of 10 minutes before he calmed down enough.
We also have him apologize before he is allowed to get up. And, if he gets up before we give our OK, then he has to sit more. We also make sure to turn off music, TV, keep toys out of his reach, and do not provide any attention to him during that time. If he asks for anything, he also needs to wait until after the time-out is completed before he can have it.
If he is instead just being too rough with a toy, then we just take it away. As long as he calms down after that is taken away, then we do not provide a time-out.
If his behavior is otherwise poor and he is really looking forward to something, then he doesn't get to do that. For example, he loves to take rides with me to the store in my van. If his behavior is poor, I leave him home with my significant other and go by myself. We also explain why he has to stay home and tell him it's a consequence for bad behavior.
The other thing we do (unless it's extremely poor behavior) is give him the opportunity to correct his behavior. We tell him that he needs to be happy, stop doing [insert bad behavior], etc. or [insert consequence] will happen. If he doesn't stop, then the consequence happens.
The main thing is to follow-through with what you say you will do each and every time. If you follow-through every-time, then your little ones learns you mean it (though it takes patience before your little ones learn this).
I am studying psychology, it is proven that rewarding desired behavior works more effectively than punishing bad behavior. Some kids learn that they get a response(attention) from bad behavior which perpetuates it.
I do not believe in punishing toddlers. Instead catch them every time they do something good, and show your appreciation. What they want is your attention, good or bad! When their behaviour is annoying you ignore it completely, otherwise you are simply reinforcing bad behaviour. I also dont believe in time outs. That is punishment, and should be unnecessary if you do as above.
I have a 4 year old son and it's a trial and error. What works for one family may not work for your family. We do a lot of trial and error. Sometimes the time out bench we have works great other days not so much. He's not into TV or video games so I can't take those away from him as a consequence so I have to take away things such as not going to the river, or getting to stay the night at grandma's, etc.
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