a work in progress

Disciplining Your Toddler (Or is it Educating Them?)

We’ve been at a bit of a cross roads lately. Are you wondering about disciplining your toddler? This post might help.

Aru has recently come to this stage where he doesn’t like getting into the pram. Apparently he wants a standing ride. We’d have to distract him or offer a sultana.
He fights diaper changes and we’d gotten pretty creative with tricks on keeping him distracted.
Super clingy (I know this is a 12-14 month phase) and I could barely cook a single dish because he’d be pulling my pyjama pants down.

I was starting to get worse and we were doing interesting things…
I’d avoid walking in front of him while he ate dinner to stop him from getting agitated.
We’d give him bikkies to start car rides.
And every time he’d come to my pants, I’d offer him a new kitchen utensil to spare my pyjama shame.

So naturally, I started looking online for how to raise toddlers. Perhaps there was something that could make this trying time a bit easier. I had a whole book list on Amazon ready to order (but the shipping killed me so I couldn’t hit buy).

Then I went to the library and chanced up a book called Bringing Up Bébé. I’m always a bit skeptical about taking on 100% advice from books – so I tend to read with caution. The hugest difference (I’m only at page 88) that I’ve observed is the response towards crying.

When Aru is crying, we try and pacify him within 10 seconds. Especially after having read Happiest Baby On The Block. It’s a habit which has stuck. Quite frankly, we don’t like hearing Aru cry. I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

But Bringing Up Bébé suggests waiting. Letting them work out their frustrations and enabling them to pace through it. Rather than immediately solving their problems for them. Strategically, this made sense to me. After all, by melding into their demands, we’re teaching them that this is how the world works. When that is really not the case.

Babies understand. Teaching them patience, how to work through their frustrations and removing instant gratification is preparing them for life. It’s not saying that there is no love, no hope, no happiness. It’s saying that there is all this. Both sides to everything.

We’ve only started yesterday and I’ve started to see little changes in Aru. It’s hard for us to know when to take the call. To see his little tears and know we have to let him have a little cry and understand that we can’t pick him up all the time. But I can see him distract himself. Accept the situation and continue on. We give him abundant love when the moment feels right.

As with all things, we’re forging our way through, doing what seems to make sense and hoping for the best. Hopefully we raise a wise, accepting child who also questions and sees the world with so very much potential.



Side notes – I wish I’d read this book sooner.
Other side note – Our research is so English language biased, I used to think best reviewed books on Amazon would be ideal, but now I know that it’s not about the American mainstream (because they’re the buyers dominating the Amazon reviews). It’s about learning from a global culture that is working for us.

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  1. Dee

    I read that book when my son was just a month old. We started off by not responding to his cries immediately when woke up at night. Sure enough, many a times he would go back to sleep without intervention! But isn’t it crazy how the French infants eat only 4 times a day at 3 months??? Even at 5 months, I can’t imagine my son doing that. Now that he will will be almost 6 months and starting solids, we’ll try and work towards the 4 times a day feeding schedule and see how it works out. The no snacking rule will be interesting to implement. Snacking is ingrained deeply in our culture with snack time even being allocated in schools. I don’t want my kid to become a pariah either during these snack times so let’s see how it goes when the time comes. I’m surrounded by mom’s that carry all kinds of snacks to pacify their kids and honestly don’t want to to be doing that. I guess the key to French parenting is instilling patience in your kids.

    • karishma

      I so truly wish I’d read it sooner! Please let me know if you read any others that you would recommend. I haven’t thought too much about snacking, I recently spoke to a woman who was into Aware Parenting and she said that she felt children should be in control of their relationship with food. That threw things a bit off for me – I feel like you want to be the ideal and really, there is no ideal. There is just a whole lot of “hoping for the best”. So lovely to hear from you by the way 🙂 Tell me more please! xx kk

  2. Nandika

    I so totally enjoyed that! xx

    • karishma

      xx Sometimes I think my blog isn’t so popular among un-mums, then you go and surprise me 🙂 xx (If you’re the Nandika I think you are!)

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