1 YEAR OLD

When your lit­tle one mis­be­haves, keep cool and don’t fall into one of these fa­mil­iar dis­ci­pline traps, re­minds DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

When your lit­tle one mis­be­haves, keep cool and don’t fall into one of these fa­mil­iar dis­ci­pline traps.

The “ght re with re” trap

You are so an­noyed with your tod­dler’s mis­de­meanours that you fly into a rage and scream at her. You think this will co­erce her to be­have bet­ter.

WHY THIS IS A TRAP Con­fronta­tion may ap­pear to be ef­fec­tive – your lit­tle one is so shocked at your in­ten­sity that she stops in her tracks. But when you are out of sight, she’ll sim­ply con­tinue to hit, bite and push. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Keep your temper in check and re­spond to her calmly and firmly. Ex­plain what she has done wrong and how she should have con­ducted her­self when that in­ci­dent an­noyed her. Also, praise her when she does carry her­self well.

The “zero-tol­er­ance” trap

Ev­ery­thing she does wrong, ma­jor or mi­nor; you re­act im­me­di­ately with a se­vere rep­ri­mand. WHY THIS IS A TRAP This ap­proach can eas­ily back­fire be­cause it forces you to give your tod­dler ex­actly what she wants – your at­ten­tion. As far as she is con­cerned, neg­a­tive at­ten­tion is bet­ter than none at all. She’ll keep on mis­be­hav­ing.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Be pre­pared to ig­nore some of the triv­ial in­ci­dents. By all means, re­act im­me­di­ately she is ver­bally or phys­i­cal ag­gres­sive, but hold back for the less sig­nifi­cant trans­gres­sions.

The “empty threat” trap

When you see your tod­dler get up to mis­chief, you threaten to pun­ish her so she’ll stop what she is do­ing im­me­di­ately. Once you have calmed down, though, you change your mind and de­cide that you won’t fol­low through. WHY THIS IS A TRAP The im­me­di­ate temp­ta­tion to dis­ci­pline your one-year-old is strong, es­pe­cially when you see her hit another child or have an em­bar­rass­ing tantrum at the busy shop­ping mall. But if you tell her that she will get a time-out, yet don’t carry though, she will soon learn that that you don’t mean what you say.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Think care­fully be­fore you voice it out. If you do threaten her, ex­plain clearly what she did wrong. Then, make sure the pun­ish­ment is ap­pro­pri­ate (for ex­am­ple, re­duc­ing her play-time), and then im­ple­ment it.

The “wait till your fa­ther gets home” trap

You feel that your hus­band should play a more ac­tive role in manag­ing the lit­tle one. So when she mis­be­haves in the morn­ing and drains you emo­tion­ally, you warn her that you’ll tell Daddy all when he gets home in the evening. WHY THIS IS A TRAP There are two parts to this trap. First, by the time Daddy gets home from work in the evening, your one-year-old has for­got­ten all about the in­ci­dent. Sec­ond, Daddy wants to play with his lit­tle dar­ling af­ter a long day, not rep­ri­mand her. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN­STEAD Dis­cuss your con­cerns with your hus­band and be on the same page about dis­ci­pline sit­u­a­tions. If she mis­be­haves when Daddy is at home, step back and let him sort it out this time.

Dis­cuss your con­cerns with your hus­band and be on the same page about dis­ci­pline sit­u­a­tions.

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