How To Discipline Your Toddler Behavior

Toddler behavior may be entertaining or frustrating sometimes. You may think disciplining toddler behavior is difficult, because they are too young to understand things. But then you cannot scold your baby all the time. Luckily, there are ways to solve most behavior problems. Make parenting an enjoyable journey with your child with some basic strategies to discipline toddler behavior.

disciplining toddler behavior is not easy

Disciplining Toddler Behavior

Toddlers’ antics may look like misbehavior sometimes. It is common to see a toddler seeking to play with your laptop or cell phone every time he finds you working or talking on these devices. He may look keen to turn the room lights and fanon and off. Parents, unable to understand the child’s need to stay busy, misjudge such crazy activities as indiscipline.

Often you may not know how to deal with such an act. Toddler behavior is different at times, and you may struggle to deal with his behavior. Tactics like taking away privileges don’t just work on one-year-olds, because they do not understand the connection between the two – their misbehavior and your action.

So what can you do in such circumstances?

Well, doling out effective toddler discipline is one of the toughest tasks of parenting, but you must see the positive side of it. Perhaps this is a good time to introduce your toddler to what is right and wrong. Punishment is not the best way to discipline a toddler. Your purpose should be to “teach” them that their action is not right.

For a one-year-old, discipline should be about learning the difference between right and wrong. As a parent, your focus should be on setting rules to help your toddler outgrow their aggressive, rough, and inappropriate behavior. However, it is important to remember that it is a natural instinct for kids to explore and experiment. You may easily dub their behavior as misbehavior, but they are only trying to be independent at this stage.

Don’t Yell

When it comes to disciplining toddler behavior, your focus should be to learn how to manage the behavior, while remembering that toddlers have little ability to control their impulses. Fight the urge to yell at him when he acts up. Your loud tone will only make things worse – he will either be curious or upset. So what is the best way out?

Scolding, yelling, lecturing, emotional reactions, and punishments do not give them the right lesson; rather, these can create guilt and shame. Calmly get him interested in another activity. Diverting his attention to something interesting will put to a quick end any unwanted behavior. It may also teach him that some things are off-limits.

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Be Consistent

Are you consistent in your approach toward your toddler’s behavior? It’s your reaction to his behavior that will teach him a lesson or two. Set limits and be consistent when you respond to your child’s behavior or action. When you say “no hitting” if he smacks another child, tell him” no hitting” every time he does so.

Make sure both parents are on the same page when it comes to following family rules. Sending mixed messages to your child will only confuse and frustrate her.


Toddlers are attention seekers. They will try to grab your attention if they think they deserve your praise. It’s your words of applause that will not only please them, but also encourage them to do it right every time. Compliment them when they showcase good behavior, and you have taken a step to strengthen your bond further while disciplining your toddler.

Identify Triggers

When you want to discipline toddler behavior, you cannot ignore the triggers. Some misbehavior is preventable. When you know what sparks toddler misbehavior, you can create a game plan to deal with it. Sometimes it helps to remove these triggers instead of fighting about it with your toddler. When you know your baby finds irresistible fun in pulling toilet paper, the best way is to take it out of his way.

Keep Short and Simple

It won’t help to reason with your toddler when he breaks the rules, nor can offering detailed explanations help. You can’t discipline your child by issuing threats that he will lose his privileges if he doesn’t stop misbehaving. Lecturing kids has never worked as a discipline strategy. The reason is that the toddler lacks the cognitive ability to understand complex sentences. They do not have a longer attention span to absorb all that you say.

Instead, choose short phrases and repeat them a few times along with facial expressions.

Give a Time-Out

If your tactics to discipline toddler behavior have not worked, you may try putting him in a time-out, depending on their age. Kids usually do not want to be separated from their toys and parents and hate being left out alone. So a time-out strategy might work for such kids who continue to misbehave, ignoring your commands, reprimands, and even loss of privileges.Effective discipline starts with understanding where your child falls on the developmental spectrum. Our guide:

Ages & Stages: Approach to Disciplining Toddler Behavior Varies

First year

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A one-year old is curious, clueless, fearless, and impulsive. He knows nothing about actions and reactions. Although he is starting to learn, he can follow only simple instructions. At this stage, he can’t effectively communicate his needs, let alone understand your lengthy reprimands.

When it comes to disciplining toddler behavior, your approach must be immediate. If you react after some time, the baby won’t even remember what the reprimand is for.

Second year

A 2-year-old child experiences a rapid development of his motor skills. He may become easily frustrated when you don’t understand his demands or he can’t get his point across. He’s self-centered and may not like to share. The consequences of his behavior should be immediate, because he still lacks impulse control.

Third year

At age 3, your tiny tot has learned to drive the point home. He is a chatterbox. He has boundless energy and you may have a tough time disciplining him, as he can’t be playing quietly at home. At this age, the child has some understanding of right and wrong, retains information for hours, and understands cause and effect.

You may want to delay consequences for maximum impact. You may even use detailed explanations to send your message across to him.

No matter what the age of your child, it is important to stay positive when it comes to disciplining toddler behavior. It is okay to feel frustrated at times, but don’t vent about it. There is a way to approach things positively. Venting out your anger at your toddler will never help. Stay calm. Stay positive. Understand your toddler’s behaviors while keeping their age in mind and use different tactics to discipline them accordingly.

Ravneet Kaur
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Ravneet Kaur

Ravneet is a proficient author on mindful parenting, child psychology, and pregnancy-related issues. Her practical writing focuses on helping parents develop a compassionate understanding of child behavior and build strong family bonds. She also researches and writes on women’s health, pregnancy problems, relationship issues, teens, and child development and education.
Ravneet also blogs at
Ravneet Kaur
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