Your little baby is your wonderful bundle of joy, you’ve held him close when he cried, offered him food when he demanded not only because its the right food but also as a result of your love and affection for the little one. You enjoy the special moments you both share together and give him all the love and affection in the world, while ignoring the people who told you “you’re spoiling him”. Now that your little infant has grown into a toddler with an attitude you must be wondering weather you’ve created a child who gets what he wants when he wants or in other words a spoiled bratty kid.
Many people confuse the meaning and dilemma around the word discipline. It is too often referred to as a form of punishment. A slap on the wrist, or a “time out” will teach a child to sway away from unwanted behavior but only for the time being. The good that comes of these “punishments” or “lessons” are only temporary, as they are only based on fear or threats. If anything, slapping or timing out, will only teach your child to do the same to his children or give him the idea that its okay to hit. The good behavior that comes out of these punishments only lasts as long as your child is afraid of you. What happens when he is old enough to speak his mind? He will rebel.
The meaning of discipline is “to teach” not “to punish”. Hence, the best way you can truly discipline your toddler for the long run is to teach them to love. Learn to notice the good things they do. Toddlers like to please the people they have learned to love. For now, they love attention. Give them hugs when you notice a good deed or their good behavior. Toddlers are unable to understand words like “hurry”, “clean” or “share” as the understanding of these words depend on developmental readiness not your demands as a parent. Keep teaching them these important traits but be patient and keep your expectations realistic. Teaching with love and attention is the best way for them to understand. It is important to teach your child to express his feelings and label them. When a child is able to understand their feelings verbally they are less likely to lash out and throw temper tantrums. Teaching your little one to understand his feelings will not only help him express them to you but also to people in his life later on which can prevent a lot of domestic problems from occurring in their lives.