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Is The Time Out An Effective Method Of Toddler Discipline?

The time out is a discipline method that has been becoming more popular in recent years.  The fact of the matter is that, for many toddlers the time out is a very effective method of discipline.  This is not to say that the time out works for every child.  This is also not to say that, sometimes, the time out will lose its effectiveness as a method of discipline for a given child.  This only means that many parents have had success using the time out as an effective method of toddler discipline.

But why does the time out work?  Why is it an effective method of discipline?  There are several things that the time out accomplishes.  First, if the time out is given for a misbehavior, it takes the child out of the situation in which he was misbehaving, effectively putting an immediate end to the bad behavior.  Second, a time out gives the child a few minutes, undistracted by other children or other external stimuli, to calm down.  Once the child has calmed down, they are much more likely to be compliant.  But a time out does more than this.  It also allows the parents some time to calm down, and make sure that they are not disciplining out of anger.  It is because of all of these reasons that the time out tends to be an effective method of discipline.

To use a time out, you first need to pick a spot, isolated from the normal activity of your home, to use as the time out spot.  When a toddler is not compliant, give them a warning that they will go to time out if they do not comply.  Then, follow through.  If the child does not comply, tell them to go to time out, gently guiding them there if necessary.  The child then will need to stay in time out for a number of minutes equal to their years of age, after which, if they are calm and quiet, you will give them another opportunity to comply.  If they do not comply, you then send the child back to time out.

When used properly and consistently, the time out can be one of the most effective methods of discipline that you can use with your toddler.

Posted in Toddlers |
Disciplining a Spirited Toddler

The process of parenting a toddler that is spirited can be very much like a roller coaster, with regular ups and downs.  Some days will drain us completely, trying to avoid discipline problems and fits.  While a spirited toddler can be a tremendous joy to be around, parenting a spirited child can keep a parent on their toes, and can literally be exhausting.

The most important things to keep in mind when disciplining a spirited toddler is to try to remain proactive and positive.  If you know that a child, for example, doesn’t like to quit playing in order to come to the dinner table, try to make for an easier transition.  Let the child know when there is only 10 minutes left to play, and then when there is only 5 minutes, and then one minute.  By helping to be proactive, you can hopefully avoid some of the tension, yelling, crying, and fit-throwing that is all too common with the spirited toddler.  Keeping those transition times smooth will go a long way in helping you to discipline your spirited toddler.

Perhaps one of the best tools that parents of a spirited toddler have in terms of discipline is planning.  Always having an activity of some sort available for your spirited toddler to engage in can help him from becoming too bored.  Being bored is one of the worst things that can happen to a spirited toddler, as it will promote all sorts of aberrant behavior.

Finally, it is important to recognize that the spirited child is, most of the time, not trying to be bad.  They just have a lot of energy, and they can’t stand to be unoccupied.  Ultimately, being spirited may very well help your child when he or she grows up into becoming a productive and successful adult member of society.

In the long run, parenting a spirited toddler can be a rewarding and positive experience. Some of the most successful people start out as spirited toddlers. It’s all a matter of keeping the toddler safe and helping to direct that energy in order to maximize her odds for success and minimize your frustration level.

Posted in Toddlers |
Should I Get a Pet when I Have a Toddler?

When you’ve got a toddler in the house, things can be crazy. Any little change to the situation can also set a toddler off, throwing her into a fit of “terrible two” rage. One of the things you can do to help out your toddler, however, is to make a change by adding a pet to your household. Not only can the right pet be a good friend and member of the family, there is some research that tells us that pets actually help children with things like emotional development.

Picking the right pet

The first thing to consider when getting a pet with a toddler in the house is choosing a safe pet.  Pets that are often not safe for children, especially toddlers, include monkeys, ferrets, chinchillas, hedgehogs, and other rodent pets.  In addition, there are specific risks with reptiles, such as lizards, turtles, and snakes.  These pets can often carry salmonella bacteria, which can be harmful to your children.  If you choose a reptile as a pet, be sure to talk with your vet or your health care provider about the precautions that you should take.

If you are considering getting a dog with a toddler in the house, you should be picky about the breed.  Some breeds are known to be good with children.  Other breeds, such as Dobermans and Dalmatians, tend to be large and often aggressive.  On the other hand, toy breeds such as poodles and Japanese Chins may not always be the best choice for your home, as toddlers can sometimes be rough with pets.  Of course, breed does not always determine personality, so you will want to find out as much as you can about the behavior of your future pet.

Cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, birds, and fish all make great pets when you have a toddler in the house.  Again, with the smaller pets, you should be careful as children will often like to handle the pets roughly.

Teaching your child to handle pets correctly

Regardless of what kind of pet you choose, there are some things that you should do when getting a pet with a toddler in the house.  These include:

  • Teach your child how to handle the animal carefully, never teasing, pulling, squeezing, or bothering them while they are eating.
  • Supervise interactions between your toddler and the pet, especially at first.
  • Help your toddler to remember to wash his hands after handling a pet.
  • Keep up on your vet visits and shots.
Posted in Toddlers |
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