Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Discipline Revisited

I’ve done posts on discipline and limit setting and given the whole talk on the ins and outs of using it wisely and effectively. It’s been awhile since I brought up the topic, oh, maybe since my child was 8 months old, so I figured it was time for an update.

Fast forward to month 12.5. How are my discipline techniques going so far?

Well, with my child becoming a toddler very soon, I am trying super hard to stick to my limits and NOT give in. It is hard when your child is crying and really, really wanting to play with the curtains. You just want to say, “okay, fine” and let her pull on them.

BUT, I keep trucking and repeating over and over, “the curtains are not for playing with,” and redirect her, “your blocks and toys are for playing with.”

I am big on setting as few limits as possible. Why? Because you will drive yourself nuts if you are constantly telling your child, ‘no!” They’ll get so tired of hearing that little word, that pretty soon it won’t phase them anymore.

I've learned it's best to just set limits that are for safety at this age. Limits that will keep my child safe, others safe (including me and her daddy) and personal property safe. So basically I am setting limits for instance when she is trying so hard to be gentle but is laughing as she pats my face super hard- almost really slapping me. It’s mostly “we use gentle touches when we touch faces” and model it for her.

The play areas in our home are child proof so there isn’t too much she isn’t allowed to do. I always wondered how a parent can get upset with their child who is constantly going for the breakables.  Hello! Put the breakables up.  You can’t expect children under 2 years old to control themselves and keep their hands to themselves.

I also try not to make a big deal (raising my voice) out of something she is doing that she shouldn’t. If she is constantly trying to throw a toy, I set the limit very calmly and have her play with something else. That way she isn’t even more tempted to try it again since she isn’t getting any attention from me. The more attention she gets, the more she will do something to get it!

Or like when she is eating in the high chair, and has thrown some of her food on the floor for the second time, laughing. I tell her calmly and matter of factly that “food is not for throwing” and just keep feeding her. It seems that the less upset I get and the less ‘scene’ it makes, the more she gets it.

So far so good but it does take practice and patience.  Patience is the key.  Not sweating the small stuff but making sure she understands what a limit is.  We'll see how she is when she reaches full on toddlermode!


  1. Your suggestions are excellent, and it does take patience to follow through.
    I think what is difficult at her age is watching her do these things and not laughing with her (since she is so cute). It takes strength to be firm when they are acting so funny etc. yet doing things that are not acceptable! That is where real parenting comes in, and it appears like you have nailed it!

  2. Yes, it is hard to not laugh when they do something wrong and we find it cute. Because in a few years, their sassy attitudes, and frustrations won't be so cute anymore!

  3. Totally, totally agree. I don't laugh, I just make a note to tell my husband and my mom later.