My 2-year-old is really flexing her muscles. She still looks like a baby, but is acting like a kid. A lot of throwing and looking at me and making not good choices. Can I discipline her – and how?
Discipline is about teaching life lessons. It’s about taking responsibility for one’s choices and actions. Discipline can start very early, but as you are asking about now let’s start there. For a 2- year-old, you have to keep things short and simple.
If she is throwing things, be clear about expectations and what will happen if those expectations are not met: “Throwing blocks is not safe. If you throw the blocks I will put them away.” If she throws again, put the blocks away. Do so without much conversation – it will only make the tantrum louder and really not get you where you want to go.
I am always honest – there will be an epic-sized tantrum from your tiny tot, but that’s OK. Your child is mad at you, themselves, and the world, but in the end, THEIR choice led them to be blockless. When they calm down, you can say clearly, “You threw the blocks and that is not safe, so I put them away. We will try again later.” You are saying this in a very calm voice, not yelling, just matter-of-fact-like. Then move on. No grudges.
They are funny at this age because they look so tiny, and yet they DO know when they are making those unwanted choices – especially those times when they are looking at you while making them. They are pushing the boundaries, seeing what they can and cannot get away with, discovering what life has to offer.
Stay calm and clear, no yelling, and follow through with the consequences. They don’t have to be huge. If your child is hitting at the playground, have them sit out for a bit. If they won’t clean up, then do not let them move on to another toy. Keep it simple.
To help a little more with discipline, and what it is, check out my Mommybites blog, 4 Basics of Discipline That Will Surprise You. Go forth and teach some life lessons to your tiny toddler. Never underestimate all that they can understand and do. They are mighty!
Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.
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