Tips For Instilling Discipline In A Toddler

It is wrong and unacceptable to justify your child's mistakes over and over again simply because you are of the opinion that he or she is too young to comprehend the set rules and the consequences for breaking them.

If you think of discipline as a kind of teaching rather than a type of punishment for your baby, then the process gets easier. Discipline is important because your baby needs to learn that kicking, biting, screaming and hitting other people is wrong.

Discipline will ensure that the toddler knows how to keep safe and also get along with other people that have different personalities and beliefs.

Being the parent means that you are the main teacher and therefore you ought to have a great deal of compassion, patience, and consistency. Consistency is of prime importance more so for toddlers; this is because they will repeat the same mistake over and over again hence the need for you to repeat something over and over again until they get the message.

When To Begin Disciplining Your Baby?

You can set the limits from early on when the toddler is 12 months old. You can begin with simple guidelines such as safety guidelines, for example, you could tell your baby to be gentle when petting the dog. Setting guidelines and boundaries slowly introduces your little one to the harsh realities of the outside world, that has many more rules.

It is important to begin disciplining your baby early because it is then that crucial limits are set, for instance, cultivation of obedience and respect for what mom or dad advises, says or asks.

Furthermore, to ensure that your baby knows they are behaving properly, you can reward them to show them that what they are doing is preferred. One easy way to do this is by allowing them to play on their baby swing when they have been behaving well. Most babies love playing on these swings so they will associate proper behavior with having fun afterwards.

Behaviors That Must Be Corrected

Respect For Authority

Authority figures in the society could be parents and grandparents at home, teachers at school and many others. Any form of disrespect towards adults is unacceptable. Instill this early so they respect their teachers as soon as they are old enough to attend school.


When it comes to matters concerning safety, do not firm and consistent. Do not tolerate actions such as hitting their sibling, playing while in the kitchen or any other dangerous acts.


Any issue pertaining to health ought to be taken seriously and can therefore not be compromised. Debates about whether or not to take medicine, take a shower, brush his or her teeth or even wearing sunscreen while at the beach should not be up for discussion.


​Lying is another no-no! Lies should not be tolerated; regardless of how small it is. Whether it is about stealing a snack from a sibling or cheating in an exam, the truth must be told at all times.

Tips For Instilling Discipline In A Toddler

No parent in their right senses would want to see their baby beat up, kick, insult other kids or become disrespectful to adults. If this happens, no matter how cute your little one is, you ought to take action. Furthermore, you want to bring up a decent human being and not a monster, right?

Experts believe that spanking is not the way to go when it comes to disciplining a child and that there are effective ways all of which are non-physical that could go a long way to shape the character of your child. The following are some of the ways you could use to handle or avoid bad behavior in a toddler.

  • Set simple and clear rules. While setting the foundation of discipline in your toddler, the first step should be coming up with a set of clear and simple house rules. For example, No running around the house, No hitting one another etc.
  • Learn to Say NO! If your baby does something wrong like hitting a sibling, act immediately and firmly says No hitting other people. If your baby is able to speak, make him or she apologize for his or her wrongdoing.
  • Come up with consequences for wrongdoings. You can do this by first finding a consequence that is of value to your baby. For instance, you could take away a privilege that he or she enjoys every time your little one misbehaves. For example, if they fail to complete their homework, you could take away your baby’s privilege of watching his favorite cartoon series.
  • Offer rewards for good behavior. All kids love treats. You could, therefore, encourage good behavior by making a deal with the child. For example, ‘If you stay by my side as we shop at the grocery store, I will buy you some ice cream.
  • Show your little one an alternative but acceptable behavior. When your baby breaks a rule give them an acceptable alternative. For example, ‘Don’t dump out Daddy’s shoes!’ Give the child an alternative by saying,’ Let's dump out these tiny pebbles instead!’


Sears, W., & Sears. M. (2005). The Good Behavior Book: How to Have a Better-Behaved Child from Birth to Age Ten. Harper Collins UK.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via [email protected] Welcome to

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