Discipline for Toddlers, What Works Best?

Every parent faces the dreaded decision of which discipline method will best teach their children appropriate behavior. When asked most parents will tell you that instilling discipline needs to occur in the toddler years, but few can describe how. According to a recent survey from the Scottish Government more parents are choosing to simply ignore their toddlers bad behavior, stating that few parents actually viewed spanking as a useful tool.

The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh published a report based on the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study, which indicated that 8 our of 10 parents believe that ignoring their child’s naughty behavior is the best disciplinary action when it comes to toddlers with spanking coming a close second.

When deciding what discipline methods you should use for your own household it’s important to recognize that disciplinary outcomes are different from child to child. Professor Lynn Jamieson had this to say, “Outcomes for children may be as influenced by social and economic resources as they are by parenting styles.” So what does that mean for you?

While looking out for your child’s well being become aware of the outside influences that have a direct and indirect influence on your child. If violence and drugs surround you your disciplinary actions need to be productive in that environment. Just the same if a Christian community surrounds your child those influences are going to have an impact on his or her outcome as well.

From family to family and even child to child discipline is not a “one size fits all” scenario. It’s important to consider your own core values and belief systems, the environment that your child is surrounded with, that child’s individual personality and the actual behavior itself.

Discipline is not always a simple process for some parents. If you are faced with a challenging situation or a child that seems difficult to handle don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek advice from other parents who have been in your situation. Their advice could be your peace of mind.