Toddler ABC Guide to Discipline: Quick Secrets to Loving Guidance by Michelle Smith - Read Online
Toddler ABC Guide to Discipline
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Great balls of fire! Are you tired? Tired of yelling. Tired of being yelled AT. Tired of tantrums, hitting, kicking, whining, biting, refusing to sleep...When do they stop smacking siblings or running from us in the mall? When do WE get to start enjoying how cute and sweet they are? When do we get to SLEEP?! Honey, I hear you. Good news – this is your quick reference on loving discipline.

Published: Michelle Smith on
ISBN: 9781453618974
List price: $0.99
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Toddler ABC Guide to Discipline - Michelle Smith

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Introduction: Where Do I Begin?!

I get emails from all over – moms, grandmas, dads, aunts. One mom is single and struggling. Another is in the army and away from home for weeks at a time. I also get emails from traveling dads, grandmas raising grandkids with no help, or divorced parents - with the kid going back and forth to separate families with different values. On and on it goes. The toddler behaviors and desperation of the caregivers are the same. But the setting off factors are all a bit different. And everyone wants a quick answer to the problems.

So it got me thinking. How do we come together for a quick lesson on loving discipline? I wrote Life with Toddlers (my first book) under the assumption that the child already gets plenty of love an attention – that parents and caregivers tend to spoil and 'over-do' in a way that promotes negative behaviors. But what about the caregivers looking for the basics of discipline: the ones who didn't have good experiences growing up – no model of loving guidance? Or those with so much else on their plate that they barely have time to blink, much less absorb 300 pages worth of information? Life with Toddlers is chock full of strategies to increase positive behavior, but dadgum! We need some cliff notes!

This book is the essential basics: a quick reference on professional, inside secrets - how to address problem behaviors and how to give good, loving discipline. You guys are hurting and need answers fast.

So start reading. Be prepared to change your thinking and approach to discipline. Be prepared to take a good, long, hard look at yourself, too. Our reaction to a child's behavior shapes the direction it goes. It can get worse, or it can get better – depending on how you handle it.

Here's what you need to do:

Be kind, firm, and consistent.

No yelling, hitting, or ignoring.

Be a safe haven: provide tons of love and guidance.

Give instruction on exactly how you want them to act.

Kids will not magically start acting better simply because we yell at them to stop! And let's turn off that auto-spank when we're ticked – it doesn't work. We MUST make our children feel loved and provide consistent, positive instruction. And guess what? You CAN do it! It's not too late. You can change the course you are on, turn your child's behavior around, and get started in the right direction.

Let's get going!

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Chapter One: The Toddler ABC Guide or TAG

The TAG method helps you understand your toddler and communicate effectively to increase desired behaviors. TAG can literally save you a million headaches. Here's the gist (and hey, don't get thrown off by the technical lingo…I'm with you and we'll make it easy). First of all, ABC stands for:

A = Antecedent: the event before the (good or bad) behavior.

B = Behavior: clearly defined.

C = Consequence: what happens immediately after the behavior.

A = Antecedent

A is the event that happens right before the behavior. Behavior has two outcomes: desired or undesired. Good or bad. A is the action or thing that 'causes' the good or bad behavior. Most often it is requests, actions, or commands from us such as, clean your room, turn that off, it's time to go, you can't have this, etc.

1) Identify A

What did you say? What did you do? What was your child doing? Figure out your set up. If the resulting behavior was good, set it up that way again. If the behavior was bad, change your set up. Do your best to prevent that behavior in the future. How? See #2.

2) Crystal-clear directions and expectations

Put simply, it is our job to make sure the child knows and understands every single word we say and give crystal clear directions, examples, and expectations in order to set up a successful outcome.

A child cannot do what you want or ask if he doesn't understand what you want or ask. Many times a toddler will react to your request or command in whatever way they do understand or think you want.

Let's say you ask them to be careful with the baby. What you really have in mind is, stop pushing the baby. But how do they know that? You didn't actually say it! You said, be careful. So they have to guess what 'be careful' means. And they guess you mean, don't run around the baby. So they don't run, but continue to push. You mistake it for defiance. But the truth is, your request was not clear. Your child may have been trying to comply, but just didn't get what you wanted. So think about it. Are you using clear, concise, and specific words and requests they understand?

3) External Factors

Under A you also examine external factors such as lack of sleep, distractions, hunger/thirst, etc. You know your child, so use this information to avoid conflict or misunderstandings.

For example, Joe toddler is tired. You ask him to put on his pajamas, yet he continues to play, ignoring your request. Rather than get mad at him for not listening (again), you know he's just exhausted and needs physical help to get going with the request. The expectation doesn't change – he is still going to change clothes – but knowing that he's tired, you offer hands on help. An outsider could immediately walk in and call this defiance, but you know why he's ignoring the request and you factor that in.

4) Set up for success

Provide the physical and verbal cues (Chapter 4) to get the desired outcome with the least amount of resistance. This avoids the immediate conflict of yelling or hitting because you understand the external factors and give him the needed help.

B = Behavior

Clearly define it!

Be specific. Don't just say, She's being mean. Break it down and tell me more. How is she being mean? Throwing objects, screaming, hitting, biting? This lets you (and her) know exactly what you want to change.

Give your child very specific directions so he understands how you want him to behave. If you don't tell him what you want – in a way that he understands