Mums Share: How I Discipline My Toddler

Disciplining children is no fun task, but it’s part and parcel of being a parent to your child. As a first-time parent, it can be an intimidating task, especially if you are not sure of what to do. The good news is that you will get the hang of it, and in the meantime, you can try out these suggestions as given by fellow mummies.

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If Killian does something wrong, I will take away privileges that he would normally get, like iPad time or outside play time, and explain why I’m doing this. This way, he realises that he did something wrong and he knows not to ask for his iPad or to get me to take him outside. If the misbehaviour is not as serious, I am firm when I deal with him, explaining why what he did was wrong and I teach him how to react he faces a similar situation in the future.

Jacinta Seck, mum of one

Set boundaries for them to follow

For toddlers, the best way to discipline them is to remind them constantly of what they should not do, which can turn into nagging at times. However, it is more important for you to model the type of behaviour you wish for them to follow. I personally am not for introducing punishments or rewards at this young age. Instead, I will set rules and guidelines on how they should behave, and try to balance that with giving them enough freedom to explore and learn through failures too.

Be consistent, firm and patient as disciplining a child is not something accomplished in a day or two; it is a long, tedious process that can stretch over decades. And in the process of us trying to teach our child about everything in life, they are the ones who end up teaching us most about what it means to live.

Summer Goh, mum of three

Know when to be fun, and when to be strict 

I am usually a fun loving mum so when I am strict, my girls know I mean business. When it comes to behavioural issues, I believe in taking a firm hand with my girls. I will outline the rules and regulations I expect them to follow and punish them when they break the rules, usually by confiscating their favourite items for a week. I also do not allow my girls to accept gifts from anyone except their parents. There was once that my daughter Lauren asked her grandmother for a toy, despite knowing that I would be upset. I made her give that toy away to someone immediately. Of course, Grandma was upset with me for one whole month, but if it instils the right values in my child. it’s worth it.

Charlene Sim, mum of two

Withdrawing rewards

My boys know that things like movie nights, scooter time and swimming time are rewards and bonuses that they get to enjoy and that if they misbehave, I will remove these rewards. As they really enjoy their ‘rewards’, they fell the pinch when they no longer get to have it and from the experience, learn to behave themselves.

Elaine Heng, mum of two 

Let them cry it out

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My children cry if they do not get what they want, but I don’t give in and let them cry until they realise that they will still not get what they want even if they continue bringing down the house in tears. They realise after several attempts that crying doesn’t get them anywhere.If they did something wrong, I will punish them and ask them to reflect and ask them to tell me what they did wrong and apologise if necessary. However, I will reward or praise them if they are well behaved too.

If they do something wrong, I will punish them, ask them to reflect and tell me what they did wrong, and apologise if necessary. Similarly, if they are well-behaved, I will reward or praise them.

Be consistent, firm and fair

It can be very easy to go overboard when disciplining a child. To keep myself in check I have developed a mantra that I stick to when disciplining my daughter Shannon: “Be consistent, be firm and be fair”. When disciplining her for a wrong action, I first weigh the seriousness of the behaviour, before deciding what her punishment should be. If she repeats the same negative action, I mete out the same punishment, and once I choose to punish her, I make sure to stand firm and not waver in my decision.

Wendy Ong, mum of one 

The “naughty corner” 

When my son Laurent throws a tantrum, we try to get him to calm down and explain to us why is he crying or throwing a tantrum. We make sure that we maintain eye contact during the process so that he doesn’t get distracted by other things or thoughts. If he continues to be naughty or tries to get his way, we send him to the ‘naughty corner’ and that usually does the trick.

Dawn Wang, mum of one 


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