A high-emotion child with over-the-top energy might put you through the wringer in your daily parenting escapades. As tough as it can be to discipline a hyper tot, you’ll need some effective parenting tricks up your sleeve to maintain control and teach expectations. Don’t forget -- you’re the captain of this ship, so keep it on an even keel.
Create an environment for your little one that screams, “We love you!” and “You’re special!” The more accepted, cherished and valued your child feels, the better she’ll be able to stay within boundaries and follow rules, advises therapist Lisa Larson, with the Positive Discipline website. Design a daily routine for your little one that stays tight and regimented, as well, to give your child some important security. When a tot understands the routine and knows what’s coming, she’ll often have an easier time managing herself and behaving.
Do your utmost to manage your own emotions and stay calm as you’re parenting and disciplining your little one, suggests physician Walt Larimore with Focus on the Family. If you fly off the handle and explode at misbehavior, your child is going to have a hard time staying calm, too. Even when your child pushes every button you’ve got, take a deep breath and keep your cool to avoid displaying anger with your child. The more calm you are, the more likely your child will be to emulate your example.
Your tot’s hyper behavior needs firm discipline and limits to keep him in line, recommends the Children’s Physician Network. Safety will be an important issue -- both for your youngster and for others. The boundaries you set should have everyone’s safety in mind, and then you’ll need to monitor and manage these boundaries continuously to keep a firm hand on your little one. For example, a “no hurting rule” probably covers all physical aggression against others. Make sure your little one doesn’t lash out at others when he becomes frustrated or anxious. Other boundaries may cover where your child plays and how he plays -- no dangerous climbing, jumping or throwing objects, for example. Your child needs continuous supervision to maintain all boundaries with firm limits.
When the inevitable mistakes and infractions happen -- and they will -- deal with the issues by using nonphysical discipline, advises the Children’s Physician Network. If you allow yourself to drop to your little one’s level by disciplining physical aggression with aggression of your own, your child may have a hard time learning what you’re trying to teach. Instead, encourage less aggression by responding in a respectful and patient manner. Use a calm voice to correct and then redirect your child with time-outs. Consistent discipline that corrects and redirects each time will teach your little one firm boundaries and expected consequences.