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5 Toddler Discipline Mistakes You May Be Making

Alison Wood |17, June 2013


Parenting was a breeze when your baby was six months old. He was an extremely cheerful baby that seemed almost too perfect to be true! However, at around 15 months of age something happened. Something that you never planned for. Your little one soon became demanding, highly emotional, discontent and very difficult to manage on a shopping trip. Is it possible that you are making mistakes in your parenting style and decisions? It is definitely possible and it happens even to the best of parents. Below are some popular mistakes among parents of toddlers. Are you repeating the same ones others have before you? Take an honest look.

1. Rewarding whining.

The sound of a toddler whining has a negative result on an adult's nerves. Many times parents, grandparents and friends just want to do whatever it takes to, "Stop the insanity!" However, if you are quickly handing your little one the cup of juice, cookie or toy he is whining for, you are in essence teaching him to whine as well as rewarding him to whine. Small children as young as two years old can be taught to say, "please" and "thank-you". A good rule to repeat to your child is, "You do not get things that you whine for. " However, don't tell your child this unless you plan on following through and not giving him or her the object they are whining for. The sooner you stop catering to the whining, the better.

2. No schedule.

Kids are resilient, right? Well, maybe not as much as people think. If your toddler lacks structure throughout the day, his or her day is filled to the brim with uncertainties. Some of these may include:

Will he take a nap?
Will he have outside play time?
Will he eat dinner before he takes a bath or after?
Will he have a story before bed or just a kiss and hug?

3. Consider your own life.

Do you feel like you have it altogether if you follow a morning routine before heading out to work? Do you have a better start to your day if you follow a coffee first, then breakfast, then shower routine? Do you feel out-of-whack if you shower first then have coffee? Just like adults, little ones thrive and feel more in control of their lives if there is some sort of schedule and predictability to the day. Yes, things may need to be rearranged for an unforeseen sickness or event, but following a typical every day schedule has many more benefits than parents realize. Start a routine today and see if it makes a difference in your toddler as early as one week!

4. Limited quality time with parents.

We know parents living in this day and age are extremely busy. Schedules are always getting crunched and people are constantly trying to save more time. However, your child needs you to spend quality time with him or her every single day. Take time to get on his or her eye level and ask him or her about the events of the day. Wrap your arms around him or her and give loads of affection throughout the day. Ask the tiny tots about special times during the day like, "Did you play with your trucks today? Did you see a puppy today? Did you eat a sandwich today?" It's amazing how much a toddler can understand and communicate with you if you just take the time to listen and discuss special things.

5. Rushing through tasks.

Do you zoom through feeding your little one breakfast? Do you rush him to his o room and dress him as quickly as possible? Buzzing through daily activities can send the signal of, "I'm not enjoying this task of raising you" to your child without you even noticing. Sure, you are exhausted and there are so many things waiting to be done, but take a few extra minutes to talk to your toddler as you take care of him. Point out the shiny buttons, talk about his or her blonde curls and tell him or her about the happenings of the day. This one-on one conversation with a no-rush attitude helps you and your toddler connect in the necessary duties of a parent.

Parenting a toddler is not easy, and it doesn't hurt to try a different parenting technique that could benefit your child. Try the above suggestions and feel free to offer your own advice below!

Parents can draw strength and wisdom from other moms and dads who have faced parenting a toddler. Most of the time a little bit more affection as well as training can help a toddler become more pleasant and well-mannered. Enjoy the pitter-patters of toddlerhood!

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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