As much as I would like to remain consistent, there are times when I want to throw discipline for toddlers out the window. My daughter is three years old, and I am completely enamored by her. I am already noticing her new patterns of crying to get her way, putting her hand on her hip, saying no, and repeatedly asking for what she wants. She is tenacious, tireless, and way too cute, just like every other toddler out there.
I am usually very consistent in using Authoritative Parenting methods. In the last couple of weeks, we have found ourselves right in the middle of situations where I have given in and let her have her way. I have no regrets, but that could change. Anyhow, I wanted to share these situations with you, just in case you have some of these occasions coming up, so you can be prepared.
The Hardest Times to Maintain Discipline for Toddlers
Holidays seem to be more and more commercial, and the candy industry is jumping all over this. We just celebrated Easter, a very solemn and sacred Christian holiday. There was a simpler time when kids got their kicks decorating and dying hard boiled eggs, and going on Easter egg hunts for them. Now, it’s all about the candy-filled plastic eggs.
Sugary treats and salty, fatty snacks are abundant at birthday parties. I am not about to make a scene with strict discipline for toddlers while temptation abounds. Also, there are usually favorite toys in high demand. Taking turns is not as democratic when there are several toddlers vying for the same toy. I ran into a standoff or two with my toddler.
Grandma’s house, Grandma’s rules. Sometimes that means fairly good discipline for toddlers. Sometimes not. In any case, she’ll never tell, and that’s fine. Grandma’s prerogative.
This all converged with an Easter time birthday celebration at Grandma’s house. It was a triple whammy! Here’s what we learned so we could maintain consistent discipline for toddlers.
- Have clear expectations, and let your kids know what they are.
- Give yourself permission to not have to be perfect.
- Fill up beforehand with growing food. Remind the kids about healthy choices and have them available. Commit to returning to healthy eating habits afterward.
- Indulge Grandma. She means well. It’s her way of showing love.
- Decide on the appropriate serving size and recommended daily allowance for the candy and hide the rest.
- Let them play outside to burn off the sugar.
- Keep an eye on the kids, and set safety limits. They might not appreciate your stopping their horseplay or protecting their tummies from aching, but draw the line for their good.
- Let kids know what is and is not acceptable behavior and be prepared for outburts affected by the sugar. You might want to have the ear plugs handy.
- Know when to call it a night. Tomorrow is another day.
Discipline for toddlers can be challenging, but you are up to it. Stay vigilant and consistent. If you do a good job, you might want to reward yourself with a chocolate bunny.
If you would like to learn more about how personal growth can support and encourage you as you follow through with discipline for toddlers, please fill in the box in the upper right of this page. I wish you all the best in your growth as a parent.