Positive discipline techniques for toddlers

There is space for parents to talk about parenting and discuss parenting issues to reflect upon our parenting journeys and to be more mindful and present in the moment with ourselves and our children, and today’s topic is positive discipline. I am only human, and there are times when I don’t practice positive discipline, but I do aim to be the most positive parent I can be, so I decided to talk about techniques and things that helped me, and I would love for you to share techniques and things that help you as well, so please comment below and share all of your positive discipline techniques, your tips, and your tricks.

Positive discipline seems to be a really hot topic at the moment Lots of teachers and educators parenting and talking about it and it’s something that I was really interested in when I had children My childhood was a very positive one. My mom practiced a lot of positive discipline; she has a degree in child psychology, so she was really clued up in the whole positive discipline world, and that’s how we were raised, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I knew what it meant to be a positive discipline kind of parent, so I’m going to share just the basic concept of positive discipline. I am not qualified in any way; I’m just a mom interested in the subject and wanting to share my own experiences and my techniques in case they help other moms out there. Discipline is that there are no bad children; there’s good and bad behavior, and positive discipline is a model that focuses on bringing out the good sides, the good points of behavior, and I mentioned a little bit about this when I did a video talking about calling their child naughty and how we don’t do that in our house.

We don’t use the word naughty because I feel like it’s a way to brand the child and not the behavior so it’s all about teaching clear boundaries without the need for punishment; you don’t have to be a permissive parent or soft parent, as some people call it, to practice positive discipline You can be firm and assertive and respect your child’s feelings while still bringing out the good in their behavior So I’m going to share a few things that I use on a day-to-day basis to practice positive discipline with my children I have two-year-olds and a three-year-old, and most of these things are things that I already do Some of them are things that I have researched and added to my list. I would love to hear from you guys if you have anything that you’d like to add to this list, so my first positive discipline technique is to give loads and loads of positive attention because we know the kids just love attention, good or bad. If they know that they’re going to get our attention, they will do it. So what we do is try and focus a lot on positive attention, so when my children do something nice, if they are, you know, putting their toys away or really well-behaved, I bake that up so much so that they feel like they want to do more of that and kind of in contrast, I try to ignore my nervous misbehaviors so when they do little things that are not nice for example, tipping the the toy box completely out, like all the toys out of the box, it’s not nice, it’s not great, it’s not ideal Someone will have to tidy that up, but that is a minor thing that I can let slide, and if I give attention to that, the likelihood of them doing that again is higher than if I ignore that because they knew that that didn’t really get attention.

From mommy, it’s not worth doing it again, so focusing a lot on positive behavior, letting the minor things slide obviously, and the big things, you have to give them enough attention, but that’s one of the things that we do. Another thing is to treat the cause and not the symptom, so if your child’s behavior is off, if they’re not themselves, they’re acting up a little bit more; they’re taking a bit more time for me, just like trying to get your attention a lot and it’s coming out of nowhere. Try to look for what’s causing that behavior and it won’t always be obvious You might have to observe for a few weeks to know what’s causing that behavior, and I’ll give a real example of something that’s happening to us right now, like my daughter Isabella, who’s been going through a phase of being really clingy to me to the point where you just can’t breathe, can’t go to the toilet, and can’t do anything without a child holding onto your legs. If you know what I mean, then you know how hard that can be, as much as I love my children You know, having them constantly attached to me is really hard She’s also been acting up a bit and throwing tantrums out of nowhere, which is a bit more difficult behavior-wise. I didn’t know what was causing it, but I took the time last week to kind of pay attention to her, observe her, and see every time what was causing that behavior. It made me feel really guilty and sad, but it was the fact that she was missing me time with Mummy.

I’ve been working really, really hard over the last couple of weeks. I’d say you know I’ve just been putting a lot more extra hours into my work, and you just don’t know how that’s affecting your children until it does affect them. I realized that I needed to take a step back and just spend quality time with her I went back to look at my old pictures of James, who’s my first child, and the amount of time that I spent on the floor playing with him and just spending that quality time with him individually was crazy compared to the amount of time that I spend with her, and I know that being a second child, it’s harder because I already have another child, and now I have a business to run, but she shouldn’t suffer; she shouldn’t; she’s done that salary; you’re wrong; she shouldn’t suffer because of, you know, life. So I spent my entire day up until now, it’s now 4:40, with her dedicating all my attention to her, and her behavior has been fantastic, just completely top-notch; she’s being cooperative; she’s being able to play on her own; she’s been able to listen to me and to just behave well, and so that led me to think that I was treating the symptom and not the cause. I was trying to get her to let go of me and to not be so clingy, and instead, by me being with her a bit more and just spending that quality time, it was all that she needed, so that might be something to try if your child is just being a bit difficult in terms of behavior Maybe look at what’s causing that behavior Another thing that really works for us is delayed gratification.

Children love knowing that good work and good behavior pay off, and they love a little reward star. They love reward charts so something that I’ve been doing a lot recently, especially since my son started nursery and he’s been coming home with things like stickers and stars saying that he did good listening and kind hands and things like that I’ve been introducing that at home as well and it makes a huge difference so my son James really really responds to that and I’ll ask him to tidy up his toys He won’t give it a second glance if I say to him that if you tidy up your story and your toys, you will get a golden star for good tidying. He will do that immediately to get that star, and I can see that it really means a lot to him to know that that means something instead of just being told to tidy up your toys because mommy told you so. Delaying gratification is something that we do in our house. Another positive parenting technique that we use in our house is to remove shame from making mistakes. That is something that we have always done from day one, The way that we do it is that we make ourselves look silly or funny if we make mistakes so that the kids feel like they can be like that as well They can be free to make mistakes, and there will be no shame in making a mistake. So, for example, if I put the wrong shoe on the wrong foot or, you know, different pairs of socks, the kids pick that up, and they say, Oh mommy, we’ve got the wrong socks, and I just got all silly, mommy got the wrong socks, and now they’ve picked up that I can make fun of my own mistakes so they can make fun of their own mistakes and if they spill a cup of water because you know they were just being a bit clumsy, it wasn’t something that they were doing to get attention; it was an honest mistake They just got all silly with me.

I spilled the water, and they know they won’t get into trouble for that. I would just tell them, You know, just to be more firm with your hands, hold it tight. You need to eat your food so that your arms get stronger and you can hold your cup really tight.Make sure that it ends So in our house, we use the thinking step whenever there’s something behavior-wise that we’re not happy with. We tell them to go to the thinking step and stay there and then we’ll come and talk to them but I’ve never really thought about time or how much time they spend on this thinking step for them What does it mean when they know that they’re going to get out? That’s never kind of crossed my mind I just thought that I knew when they’d be ready so you know that’s all that matters but reading up about this today made me really think that you need to know that timeout ends and they need to know that they’re not going to be there forever, and young children don’t have a very good grasp of time; their concept of time is not that sophisticated to know that you know when mummys ready, I’ll come out So one thing that I will be introducing from now on is a little timer. It’s some kind of way I thought about an egg timer because, you know, it’s a fixed amount of time. It’s something that can be quite intriguing for them and just say that when the timer goes off, mummies are going to come and talk to you about what you did until then you stay on the thinking step so that they know that it always ends and it always ends at that same point, and then we can talk about what they did and say sorry and whatever, but I thought that was a great idea.

Another thing I think is really important is to mean what you say so if you say no, stick to it but you can be sensitive to your child’s feelings at the same time as being assertive and sticking by what you say I’ve done a video before about saying no to your kids and how important that is to them as well so I’ll leave that linked below but in our household with two toddlers, sharing toys is something that causes a lot of friction and that is something that I have to stick by We don’t allow snatching toys in our house. If you snatch it, you’ve got to give it back and say sorry, but I am sensitive to the fact that my eldest has toys that he likes He’s got favorite toys My youngest hasn’t so much; she doesn’t quite have a lot of preferences, but James does. He does have a few favorite toys, and I try to be sensitive to the fact that even if he snatches one of these toys, I will say, Snatchin is not good. It’s not okay. You’ve got to give it back and say sorry.Later on, when I have alone time with him, I will talk to him about it, and I will say, “You know if you want to play with that toy because I know it’s your favorite, maybe tomorrow. We’ll leave it in your bedroom so that you can play with it here by yourself and Bella can play with something else, so that’s a way of kind of listening to their feelings and knowing that you know that toy means something to him but also being firm and assertive that snatching is not okay and he can’t do that even with his favorite toys, so it’s something that we try to practice as much as possible.

Obviously, there are times when that doesn’t work but most of the time, I think I’m able to do that and kind of stick and be firm whilst still trying to be sensitive to the kids feelings The use of positive language is so important, and it’s so easy to do once you recognize what negative language is. For example, instead of saying don’t walk in the living room with your shoes, try to say take your shoes off before you go into the living room, or don’t throw your clothes on the floor, say take your clothes to the washing basket. If you start to change the way that you bring things and adapt everything into positive language, you will notice a difference in your child’s behavior I read a book called the Secret, which was very famous when I was a teenager and the one thing that stuck with me about that book was when it talked about positive language and how the universe attracts positive language instead of negative language, like saying things like I’m going to, I’m going to walk on a straight line and not fall if you’re going down, you know, like a catwalk or something and you’re worried about falling instead of saying I don’t want to fall, I don’t want to fall, that’s negative language, which then attracts a negative result and I’m going off on a massive tangent but what I mean is that positive language encourages positive behavior and that works with adults and kids as well and the last thing that I do and I recommend that all parents do is to give yourself a break Practice positive discipline, which can be quite time-consuming and energy-consuming because you’re training your brain to do something that’s not an easy choice.

Obviously, it’s easier to just shout and get what you want, but to try and be reasonable and sensitive and to be a gentle, caring, loving parent all the time, it’s hard and it can make you feel quite exhausted and depleted, and just you know, lacking in patience for anything and anyone else and everything else because you’ve used up all of your time, your patience and your effort to be that you want to be, and although we know it’s worth it and it pays off to be the way that we want to be as parents, it is tiring and you need to look after yourself and give yourself a break So I find that after I’ve spent a whole day parenting and I’m quite proud of the way that I parented, like being quite gentle and positive with my kids, I desperately need to just either be on my own or be with adult people that I don’t need to tell off, discipline, or be a role model for.

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