Teaching your child boundaries, learning to say “no,” and coaching your child to practice good behaviors are all part of an important discipline strategy.
Helping your child through each phase of his life with loving discipline is an integral part of his development, a necessary requirement to help him grow into a healthy adolescent and beyond.
There are few experiences more stressful—or more embarrassing—than having your child throw himself to the ground in the middle of a crowded store.
But in the midst of all of these difficult years with your child, remember these two things: Bad behavior from children between the ages of two and six is completely normal—and as a parent, you have the ability to help your child learn how to begin to control him or herself.
It’s unreasonable to expect anything else, so while it can be frustrating for you as the parent to have to continue disciplining your child for what seems like the same offenses over and over, remember how frustrated your child is and how normal it is for her to act out.
Your role as the provider of loving, consistent discipline helps her to feel safe and secure, which will help her through this stage in her development.
Here’s an example: Charlie, age 5, deplores bedtime.Every time Karen tells her 5-year-old son Jayden it’s time to leave a friend’s house, he explodes, throwing his toys, screaming and kicking her.“It’s gotten to the point that I don’t want to take him anywhere anymore,” she says. Her 3-year-old toddler has started biting other kids when she’s frustrated.Related content: Hitting, Biting and Kicking: How to Stop Aggressive Behavior in Young Children Step 2: The Consistency Piece.The second step to effective discipline is consistency.), but if you attempt an ongoing discussion with your four-year-old, you’ll find you won’t have a very alert audience for too long.My rule of thumb for attempting to change a young child’s behavior is to be “swift and safe.” By swift, I mean move in quickly to correct the behavior and place your child in an environment where he or she will be safe since young children have a tendency to lash out physically when angry or disciplined.At this point you can tell her “When you are ready to play nicely, you can return.” Most, if not all, of your young child’s discipline at this age will center around her acting out (hitting, biting, screaming) for not getting her way, or perhaps throwing a tantrum.A child between the ages of two and six does not have the frustration tolerance, the language skills or reasoning abilities that an older child or an adult has.Having said that, it’s also important to acknowledge that it is almost to watch their little ones become even more upset.So the most important thing for you to do before you read any further is to acknowledge to yourself that discipline is not fun and rarely easy.