The Centers for Disease Control has launched a new service called Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers. The major topics covered are: communicating with your child, creating structure and rules, giving directions, using discipline and consequences, and using time out. It includes tips on each topic, advice from experts, and videos that show real-life scenarios of how tips can be put into practice. all are clear, simple, and easy to implement.
You may find you don’t agree with all their recommendations. If so, just take what works for you as a parent, and ignore the rest. Or you may find that you need to adapt their ideas for what works for you and for your child. Whether or not a discipline technique is effective depends on
1) whether the parent can use it confidently and consistently
2) whether it is a good match for the child’s temperament
For example, I did not find timeout effective with my older daughter. Trying to put her into time-out would escalate a minor discipline issue into a huge power struggle. A logical consequence like taking a toy away from her for a while worked much better. For my son, although I don’t put him in a chair by himself for timeout as shown on the CDC website, I do definitely remove him from situations when he is behaving inappropriately. Spending a few minutes in my arms, or sitting quietly away from the situation helps him calm himself down and return to good behavior.
Find the CDC site at www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/index.html