Effective Discipline

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​Effective Discipline

Early childhood is a time of discovery: every day, the toddler learns new things about herself and her environment, and new ways to relate to others. Parents are learning, too, often trying frantically to keep pace with the child's ceaseless exploration and growth. It would be remarkable, indeed, if all went smoothly. When one party or another is fatigued or stressed, when expectations exceed performance, tempers can flare. By helping parents keep their perspective and teaching appropriate developmental expectations, pediatricians can help prevent crises.

It is essential that the child explore in order to grow; it is equally important that she do it safely. Babies and toddlers learn by being curious. Curiosity and intelligence compel babies to touch, handle, put things in their mouth, and take things apart. While this can be stressful, or even dangerous, there are steps that parents can take to respond more positively to their children and allow safe exploration. Responsible parents do their part by imposing limitations and structure to create safe spaces for them to explore and play, while recognizing and responding flexibly to the infant's needs. A good "developmental IQ" can help parents to understand their child, and to develop effective strategies for responding. The pediatric office is an excellent place to begin to develop this understanding.

Practice guide

Tools

Materials for this module as noted in the practice guide are listed below.  Some are available for free download, some need to be printed, and others by purchase through the websites and/or organizations indicated.  Some of the Practicing Safety materials were created by the Practicing Safety Team and are no longer available.

UNLESS INDICATED, THE PRACTICING SAFETY MATERIALS HAVE NOT BEEN ENDORSED BY THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS, AND THOSE DEVELOPED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THE PRACTICING SAFETY PROJECT DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT POLICY OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS.

Parent Educational Materials
"How do Infants Learn?" Brochure
How do Infants Learn? (HelthyChildren.org)

"Discipline and Your Child" Brochure
Disciplining Your Child (HealthyChildren.org)

​​ "Temper Tantrums" Brochure
Tips for Surviving Tantrums (HealthyChildren.org)

"Playing is How Toddlers Learn" Brochure
Playing is How Toddlers Learn (Healthychildren.org)

"Splash Water On Your Face" Brochure
 (English and Spanish)

Suggested Reading List

Office Marketing Tools
"Reading. Routine. Relationships. Rewards." Poster
English ​| Spanish

Staff Tools
Physicians Prescription Pads 
English | Spanish

"Cool Down Before Things Heat Up" Booklet

Guidance for Effective Discipline Policy Statement

Moderate Interactives
Behavior Chart 
English | Spanish​


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