Discipline is our way of teaching children about safety and societal norms.
Whatever type of discipline parents choose, the key is that some form of it is essential.
When you are faced with a two-year-old who is throwing a temper tantrum, or who is being unkind to a playmate:
1. Be specific. Instead of vague instructions like, “Cut it out,” use specific ones like: “Don’t take Jeremy’s toys. It’s not nice.”
2. Use body language. Move next to your child, put a hand on her shoulder, make eye contact.
3. Toddlers like to say the word “no.” So, avoid the word as much as you can when dealing with the child. Instead save “no” for times when you describe unacceptable behavior.
4. With older children, set guidelines in advance. If your child knows the consequences of his misbehavior, he will think twice about acting up.
5. Be consistent, even when it’s hard to follow through. Children need to know their parents’ word is good—for punishments and for rewards.