Schedules and understanding are the key to teaching your toddler discipline

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  • Helping your toddler understand and handle their big emotions helps them make good choices and deal with the stress.
  • Your toddler doesn’t know much about strong feelings, causing meltdowns or tantrums.
  • Help your toddler name their feelings and work through them.

Toddler’s emotions are strong and big and they don’t know how to handle them very well. It’s your job as their parent or caregiver to help them learn about, understand, and get through their emotions. The strong feelings can scare your toddler. When you teach them to name these feelings, you help them learn how to deal with their feelings. Give them words for what they are feeling: are they hungry, tired, scared, or angry? Tell them that you see that they are feeling ________, and you understand. Help them to get through their emotions by playing, drawing, dancing, napping, or looking at a book together. Setting rules for behavior and talking to your toddler about what will happen in the near future helps them be more comfortable. This can also help them be ready to deal with the emotions that come with certain activities.

To find more information, check out:

Arca, M. (2014). Calming the Storm: How to Help a Distressed Toddler. Radio MD: Healthy Children. Retrieved from Calming the Storm: How to Help a Distressed Toddler

Murray, R. (2015). Relationship-based Discipline. Good4Growth. Retrieved from Relationship-Based Discipline

This and other exclusive tips from the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics are shared via Bloomz, the app connecting parents and educators everywhere. Want to get them on your phone? Invite your child’s teacher, coach or care provider to sign up for a free Bloomz account.

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