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Discipline Your Toddler

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 21-03-2007

The transition from baby to toddler is also the stage when your child will learn to accept and give in to your authority, at least in certain matters. The process will be gradual and involve a certain amount of stress for both of you.

Your child will rebel and will test your will against his on at least some occasions; but tact and resolve in handling such situations should get you through.

Some Do’s and Don’ts to guide you in disciplining your child, are as follows:


  • Set correct and clear rules: Let your toddler be sure of what right behavior is and what unacceptable behavior is.
  • Be consistent. Don’t expect your child to know that jumping on the couch at home is okay, but not at the neighbor’s house.
  • Be firm: Your toddler will try to change your mind and bend the rules; but you should be firm about your disciplinary directives and learn to say ‘no’.
  • Be gentle and sympathetic: Generally, your toddler will happily listen to you if you are gentle and encouraging.
  • Supervise your toddler’s actions: Let your toddler know you are keeping a tab on its actions.


  • Do not set unrealistic rules: You must remember your toddler is only a child and not an adult. Therefore, you should consider what is normal from a toddler’s point of view and accordingly set limits.
  • Do not get personal: Criticize your toddler’s unacceptable actions and not your toddler.   Avoid generalizing when it comes to your toddler’s mistakes.  No child wants to hear that they “always” spill their milk, or make a mess.
  • Do not hit your child: While you may get frustrated, nothing can take back hitting your child for a mistake they make, mostly unknowingly. Always remember the basic goodness of children.   They are mostly testing and learning and it’s your job to keep them from destroying themselves and others during this process.