Most of us have lost our temper once in a while only to regret the actions later on. Positive discipline motivates your child to make the right choices and respect you in return. Of course, these will take time to produce noticable changes but then, they are the best ways to let your toddler be accountable for himself right from his childhood, something that will make him more responsible in the long run, instead of trying to pass the blame.
Well, the goal here is to discipline the child and correct the actions and not to make him suffer in the long run. When your child has done something to irk you, and you spank him or cause him to be bullied by you, he will suffer emotionally and these scars take a lot of time to heal. He will distance himself from you and you will be the first loser even it seems to you that your child is in control.
A better way is to treat your toddler as a young adult and explain clearly to him why you think what he did was bad and how that affect him in the long run. Avoid comparisons and clearly explain what you have in mind and there is a bigger chance that your child will not repeat the act in future. A child I knew would never agree to let her Mum oil her hair but she had a fetish for long hair. The mother instead of spanking her, simply showed her the picture of a bald woman and told the child that this is what will happen to her too if she wouldn’t oil her hair. And now, the little girl is more than happy to let her Mum oil her hair. Mission accomplished without any violence.
Make sure the punishment is related to the action
It may not make sense to the child if she does not put her toys in place and you scream at her and keep her starving for dinner in an attempt of letting her realise. She will not simply because there is no corelation between the toy and her food in her mind, rather she will feel you are unfair for keeping her off dinner for such a ‘silly’ reason. Make sure punishments match the act done by the child.
For example, you could let the child know that unless he/she puts the toys back in position, she will not be able to play with them the next day. Or that unless she covers the computer back, she won’t be given premission to switch it on again. Throwing bits of food around the room means she will not be able to share her favorite dessert after the meal and so on.
Let your kid know the consequences of each action
A friend of mine had her rules pretty clear and repeated them so often that her kids knew them by heart too. What made it fun was that the rules applied to adults too. The child was given the freedom to make choices and know the consequences of each. Some of them were ‘Video gaming for an hour only after you complete your home work’, ‘Polishing Daddy’s shoes without being reminded to do so for a week will give you a choice of dish for the Sunday special meal’, ‘Continuous A’s in class will earn you a trip to the park/zoo/amusement center’ and many more.
Make your child repeat the rule after you
Suppose you and your child are completed with a rule making session about the TV usage and you want to know whether he has followed what you meant to say about the rule, you could ask him to repeat what you just said by saying, “Im finished explaining the rule to you and would just like to know what you followed. Would you please repeat what I said about the rule and the consequence that will follow if you do not agree to live up to the rule?” This will make your child know what he/she is upto and when they end up losing things as a consequence for not following the rule, they will be more cautious and weigh their actions before doing them. This is a major step forward in self-discipline and regulation.
Do not relent to tantrums
Your child will not like the idea of being accountable and bearing the results of his actions and will try his/her best to drive you crazy by resorting to tantrums and whines, but it is here that you have to be firm yet loving and never lose your cool. Once your child learns that you cannot be played around with, he will do some serious soul-searching on his own and will soon follow whatever you want him to.
Thus, by all these ways, you can win over your child and make them your best friends while correcting them and showing them how to grow using the right approach in life. Disciplining takes some time and make sure you are well prepared for the act.