A toddler acting out is not shameful, nor is it behavior that needs punishing. It’s a cry for attention, a shout-out for sleep, or a call to action for firmer, more consistent limits. It is the push-pull of your toddler testing his burgeoning independence. He has the overwhelming impulse to step out of bounds, while also desperately needing to know he is securely reined in.
There is no question that children need discipline. As infant expert Magda Gerber said, “Lack of discipline is not kindness, it is neglect.” The key to healthy and effective discipline is our attitude.
Toddlerhood is the perfect time to hone parenting skills that will provide the honest, direct, and compassionate leadership our children will depend on for years to come.
Here are some guidelines:
Janet is a parenting expert specializing in infant/toddler care. She is an author, teacher, lecturer and longtime board member of Resources for Infant Educators (RIE). You can read more about the RIE philosophy and practice of 'Educaring' at JanetLansbury.com.