Every child must gradually learn that there are certain things he must not do, either because they are dangerous or because they upset the house.
The child has to be educated and trained to protect himself from danger. If he is doing something that is not safe, you can pick him up and take him away, clearly saying “No, no,” and give him a toy to play with. Gradually, he will learn that “no” means danger.
If taught properly, a child will learn to take a “no.” He has to do something with his hands constantly, and so if he puts down one thing, he picks up another. He cannot just sit idle, so give him something to play with. He can then let himself go. Soon he learns that there are some things which he must not do, and certain things which he must leave alone. While visiting a friend your little one must not turn the whole house into shambles, or throw things around if you take him into a shop with you.
Need for discipline
Children are able to obey commands only occasionally before 3 years of age. To expect them to obey all the time is like expecting a baby to walk at 4 months. Toddlers are not old enough to be consistent. Their ears ,brains and bodies are not yet hooked up, so that they can comply every time with our wishes. Once in a while they do obey, but do not expect obedience regularly.
To expect consistent obedience from a toddler is to expect something he is to immature to deliver. If we expect behaviour that is natural for his immature state, the toddler will occasionally be rebellious, but he will have the satisfaction of learning that he can live up to the reasonable standards set for him. There has to be a happy blend of discipline and freedom in a harmonius home, and for the child to grow and develop in a happy atmosphere. A child needs to feel that his mother and father, however loving, have their reasons for saying “no,” know how to be firm and not allow unreasonableness.
Discipline should not be for its own sake, but there should be a reasonable give and take, and the child must know the limit beyond which he cannot go and should not go. Conscientious parents often let a child take advantage of them for a while, until their patience is exhausted, and then get angry suddenly. This is not necessary.
Sometimes, the child can really get you angry by being adamant, obstinate, aggressive or rude. The parent may either turn away because he does not want to show his anger, or shout or even slap the child. While it is better not to hit the child, a gentle slap with immediate reassurance of love is better than showing anger by ridiculing the child, using bad language or sending the child to bed without a word of love and friendliness. Parents are only human and a child can often get them angry. But the anger should be short-lived, and the friendly atmosphere should be restored as soon as possible.