In some ways, disciplining kids was so much easier in the "good old days" when children knew they should be seen and not heard...or else. But now you're the grown-up and times have (luckily) changed. It's your job to teach your kid how to behave (yes, you're in charge!). Here is a discipline "cheat sheet" for those times when you're not sure how to respond after your kid has poured milk on your iPhone.
- Be consistent: Set the rules and follow through with clear consequences. In other words, when your kid doesn't stop jumping on the couch even after you told him he was about to lose TV, take away that remote control!
- Be realistic: Set age-appropriate rules and limits: For instance, don't expect your 2-year-old to be able to sit still throughout dinner.
- Get on the same page: Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to discipline. Otherwise, your kids will do their best to manipulate the situation ("Well, Dad said I could!").
- Time outs work: They can be effective for older toddlers (over 18 months) and bigger kids. A couple of minutes alone usually does the trick!
- Be positive: Try using a positive approach to discipline. Reward good behavior behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. What toddler doesn't love a sticker chart (or a lollipop)?