Part of love is discipline. Starting off on the right foot is very important when you are raising children. It can be oh so hard to say “No” to that chubby little two year old, but no is a word all children need to hear and they need to hear it from the onset.
Most psychologist agree that the important parts of someone’s personality has formed by the time they are 6 years old. Of course there is always room for change but as a child ages beyond those 6 years making corrections gets increasingly harder the older the child gets.
Getting started early on with the clear cut rules you want your child to live under is the best possible way to avoid problems down the road.
Set the Boundaries
It may seem unusual to set boundaries for a 6 month old baby, but children learn very early on what is acceptable and what is not. Babies at this age really do not need a lot of correction but clear cut expectations will be useful shortly down the line.
For example meals should be eaten at specific times in the high chair. Getting your child use to a schedule early on and sitting in a high chair is a form of discipline. Children thrive in environments that are structured.
By the time baby is a year old they will know that they eat certain meals at certain times and they get into their seat to participate in family meals.
Two Years and Beyond
Children start to really flex their independence at the age of 2 this is the time that consequences have to be implemented to correct unwanted behavior. Negative behavior has to be immediately dealt with. At the age of two children do not understand “wait till we get home”. If the negative behavior is not corrected immediately they tend to forget what happened when you try to deal with it later.
Time out is a great way to discipline a child as young as two. Time out works best when you utilize it in age appropriate increments. So if your two year old is misbehaving you make them sit out whatever activity for two minutes.
You can implement time out no matter where you are, grocery stores, the playground, the mall where ever you are you can find a place to have your child sit for one minute for each year of age.
While some people still ascribe to “spare the rod spoil the child” most experts agree if you want to raise a reasonable child than spankings typically are not the way to go. Many experts believe if you hit your child the only thing you are teaching your child is to hit when they are angry or when something is not going their way. Corporal punishment should not be an option.
If you start behavior corrections like time out and restriction from playing with a favorite toy you will have a much greater impact!