Q: My 18 month old daughter hits, bites, yells and challenges me. Sometimes I feel as though it doesn’t even sink in to her why she is getting in trouble. Help!
A: Make sure the discipline technique you are using curbs the behavior. If it's getting worse, you may be unknowingly reinforcing what you don't want to see. Stay consistent, firm, and loving with the correct discipline and guidance, and she will understand why she's in trouble. She is old enough now that she will test and test to make certain you mean and do what you say. Just make sure you are not reinforcing negative behavior - that is key. Life with Toddlers talks about connecting the 'crime and punishment' and what it takes for them to understand - in a way that promotes what you WANT to see, not what you DON'T. As parents, it is so hard for us to be consistent and loving...gosh, it's so tiring! But, if you keep running the marathon and educate yourself on the best discipline that works for you, one day you will wake up and have this amazing, smart, caring, and secure human being standing in front of you and you'll think - "oh my gosh...I raised her!!"
You are awesome - I know you can do it!
Michelle Smith, M.S., SLP