One thing that I hate about parenting is disciplining a toddler. He can be quite a tough nut to crack because at this age, he starts to become more independent and yet he has a limited ability to communicate and to reason.
Mommies, how do you deal with a toddler who wails every time you ignore his request, and often replies you with a “no” whenever you try to feed or bathe him? The worst scenarios can be throwing a temper tantrum on the floor and in the public. Challenging, isn’t it?
Personally, I don’t believe in the spanking or caning a toddler. He is unlikely to be able to make a connection between his behavior and the physical punishment that he gets.
I read a few parenting books and they strongly suggest the timeout method. A toddler who has been hitting, biting or throwing food, for example, should be told why the behavior is unacceptable and taken to a designated timeout area — a kitchen chair or bottom stair — for a minute or two to calm down. I’m not sure if this will work for Little Edison, but I’ll definitely try it out.
The art of distraction used to work well for me. Making use of his short attention span, if he is into something he’s not supposed to do, I’ll redirect him by offering him a substitute. But recently, Little Edison has become more persistent and the art of distraction doesn’t work anymore.
If he still refuses to listen and continue to wail, I choose to ignore him. This is what happened exactly two weeks ago – Little Edison refused to have his meal and he just want to suck on his pacifier. When I took away his pacifier, he cried non-stop. I ignored him and continued with my work. Believe me, it was very heart-wrenching to hear him crying but I was very determined not to give in to him.
I want him to understand that a “no” can never be changed to a “yes” no matter how long he cries. After half an hour, he stopped crying and started to take his meal.
The incident makes me realize that we have to be firm and consistent. Certain things in our toddler’s life are non-negotiable. They have to eat, sleep, take a bath and listen to their parents. Hitting and biting are never allowed. On the flip side, there are issues that may not worth a fight.
We, as a parent, will decide on the rules and limit.