Redirecting, giving time out and ignoring certain behaviors are effective responses when a toddler misbehaves, according to Parents. Changing a toddler's unacceptable behavior most often requires the parents to first change their own behaviors. Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline means teaching desired behaviors and establishing rules to short-circuit aggressive, dangerous and inappropriate behaviors. Effective discipline requires using consistent responses to misbehavior and applying established consequences 100 percent of the time.
The general rule for a time out is one minute for each year of the child's age, states Parents. Sometimes parents need to ignore behaviors, such as tantrums, as long as safety is not compromised. When the behavior stops working, the child typically stops doing it.
Understanding the child's triggers gives parents opportunities to prevent misbehavior rather than trying to correct it, notes Parents. Naps, healthy snacks and burning energy during outdoor play helps avoid misbehavior triggered by hunger, excess energy and being overly-tired.
Removing items that trigger misbehavior offers another tactic for prevention, states Parents. If a toddler draws on the walls, parents should put the crayons away in a secure location and only bring them out for supervised coloring. For a toddler who grabs things off the supermarket shelves, parents should consider taking a couple of toys along to occupy the child's attention.