toddler discipline

6 steps to toddler discipline

It seems like only moments ago that you were holding a cuddly, helpless baby in your arms. All of a sudden, now, that little baby is toddling around the house, reaching, grabbing, and noisily declaring “No!” Welcome to the toddler phase of parenting.

Toddlers are combining their language, body, and reasoning skills, and applying them to a world. This means that they’re getting into little problems and developing problem-solving skills on the spot.

Below, is a list we have put together to show how you help them, without going crazy.


Why do they throw tantrums? Your toddler may seem independent, but they are still very limited. When the meltdown comes, keep calm. Don’t add to it by raising your voice or handling in anger.

All toddlers will throw a tantrum at some point. Get educated on what to expect, and be prepared to prevent the worst of toddler behaviours before they happen.


During infancy, you made all the decisions for your baby, but now they can make some of their own. That doesn’t mean they are in control, no matter how much they seems to want to be. Help your child make simple choices, give them options but not the decision.


Say things at a level children can understand. ‘Good job’ means nothing – when you praise their accomplishments, be descriptive. If your child strokes the cat gently instead of grabbing its ear, point that out by saying, “See? You touched her softly, and she didn’t run away. Now you and kitty are friends!” Those descriptive words help your child frame her actions.


Not every interaction you have with your child is a teaching moment. Sometimes you’ll be too tired to think through what your child might get out of the situation. In those situations, sometimes a change is all that’s required. Taking the risk of seeming to reward bad behaviour is sometimes worth it just to push the reset button.

Dr. Nekeshia Hammond is a psychologist and she suggests making that distraction is a choice as well. For example: “No, you are not allowed to touch this lamp, but you can play with your toy or read a book with me.”


Permitting natural consequences is an especially good strategy for older toddlers. Children, tend to learn best when there are natural consequences for their actions. For example, if your child is playing outside, it begins to rain, and doesn’t come in when called; they will be uncomfortably wet and realize that they should have listened to you.


No matter how many times your child performs the same misbehaviour; you must repeat the same consequences. Parents should be consistent in administering consequence. This can get tedious, but like all of your child’s phases, it will pass before you know it.

If you are searching for childcare or day nurseries in Peterborough, contact Apricot Nursery to learn how we can help you and your child. Call us on 01733 390 969.