How To Evaluate Discipline Remedies for Difficult Toddlers

There are many discipline remedies for difficult toddlers. The remedies seem to work best with parents that are consistent and know their child.  The most common discipline remedies are:

  • Time Out
  • Ignoring a Temper Tantrum
  • Distract and Divert
  • Encouragement
  • Positive Reinforcement
  • Setting Limits
  • Structure

But which ones should you use?  Here is some information to help you decide.

  1. Do your homework. Did you read about that great discipline remedy on a blog on the internet or was it a researched article in a magazine or newspaper? If you read about it on a blog, the remedy may not work or experts may not agree with the method. If you read about it in a magazine or newspaper, the article should present pros and cons of the remedy and whether or not it worked. A blog is a great place to start your research, and a magazine is a great place to continue your research. 
  2. Find out what the experts say. While time out is touted in some articles as an effective discipline strategy, some experts say it won't work at the toddler stage. Most experts say that positive reinforcement is the best way to get your toddler to do what you want-though there are experts who disagree.  
  3. Talk to your pediatrician. Chances are you're not the first parent to ask about toddler discipline. Your pediatrician will have recommendations of books and perhaps a local class you can attend. 
  4. Go to your bookstore. There are shelves full of books to help you find a toddler discipline method. Sit down and start flipping through them. If you feel overwhelmed by the selection, find a website (like Amazon) that allows readers to review books. The reviews will let you know what readers think of the methods and whether or not they worked for them.  
  5. Talk to your family. One of the big keys in toddler discipline is consistency. If you want to use a time out method, but your partner won't, time out won't work for your family. The same is true of any caregiver. If grandma watches your child on a regular basis, she will have to be on board with whatever discipline method you decide. 
  6. Talk to your child's preschool/daycare. Find out what method of discipline they use and if your child responds well to it. It may be a method you can adapt at home. 
  7. Try the method out. If ethically and morally, you don't have a problem with a discipline method, try it out. However, most discipline methods take consistency to work. You will have to try a discipline method for a few weeks or a month to decide whether or not it really works or if you should try another method.  


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