5 discipline mistakes we all make


Mistake #1

Being inconsistent

Toddlers do much better when they know what to expect and when to expect it. A rollercoaster routine only causes confusion, causing them to act out. Try to set a consistent routine that your toddler can stick to. For example, when dad comes home it’s time to eat supper and after that it’s bath time – no exceptions.

Mistake #2

Disciplining in anger

Sometimes in the heat of the moment you do or say something to your child in anger that you will later regret. Disciplining in anger also often leads to us over-disciplining, rather than meting out the appropriate consequences for the misbehaviour. So when you are angry with your toddler, take a moment to calm yourself down and then come back to deal appropriately with the situation.

Read: Dealing with anger in children

Mistake #3

Long explanations

Giving a long-winded reason why a particular behaviour is unacceptable just doesn’t work with small children. Once you’ve told your toddler to stop doing something a couple of times, rather implement the consequences of rule breaking than explaining why she should listen to you. At this age your toddler will test the waters to see how much she can get away with, so make the boundaries clear.

Mistake #4

Trying to stop a tantrum

This will make the tantrum worse and ultimately gives your child the wrong idea about the consequences of temper tantrums – that she gains attention. Rather ignore the tantrum and then calmly explain why it was wrong once everything has calmed down.

Mistake #5

Too much talk and just no action

This gives your toddler the impression that her cooperation is optional. Follow through, without fail, so that your child knows what consequence will result from misbehaviour.

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