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Child discipline – taming the toddler.

If you remove all the trendy ideas about how to teach discipline to children you are essentially left with the following framework:Love – A child can not have their behaviour effectively moulded unless they have the feeling of being wanted, respected, loved and cared for.Consistency – children need to know exactly where the limits lie and precisely what is expected of them. They should see that their parents are in agreement and completely in charge. Discipline must be consistent and not dependant on the fluctuating moods of a weary mum or dad.Staying calm and in control – don’t argue, don’t get into a debate, don’t stir up things which have happened before, don’t ‘throw a wobbly’ and don’t shoot from the hip.Avoid trouble in the first place – toddler proof your home, don’t fight over little trivial things and recognise when you are on a loosing ticket.Boost the best – reward good behaviour with encouragement, fun, attention and warmth. You can also give more tangible rewards and even bribes occasionally.Underplaying the desired – try to hold yourself back from rising to the bait. Practice will make you skilled in the art of selective blindness and deafness. Use your common sense and cunning – learn to spot when trouble is about to happen and avoid normal triggers. Divert the child’s attention, especially towards something which doesn’t directly involve your participation but which you can monitor while you get on with other things.Have sensible expectations – young children are different from adults and will not behave as adults. Listen to what they are saying to us, since their behaviour may not need disciplining but instead comfort, reassurance and a cuddle.Safety valves – when you think you’ve had enough try separating the warring parties. Sent them off to their bedrooms and find something else for yourself to do.Finally, have a sense of humour – toddlers are capable of a huge variety of amazing things. Some will most definitely not be amusing but with others you may be able to see the funny side.

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