Something to consider... a child hitting a developmental 'stage' like saying "no," throwing tantrums, being independent or defiant, or moody... these are normal stages that every healthy child experiences. These types of things are actually positive signs that you should be thankful for, as they show that your child is healthy, developing normally, growing internally!
You can read about normal developmental milestones here.

Tips for Success

Tip #1: The best time for teaching
is when both the parent and the child are calm. This is when a parent can most clearly explain and when the child is most receptive.

Tip #2: Reasonable Warning
Give your child a few minutes warning before they are expected to stop one activity and go on to the next. For example, “in 5 minutes we’re going to have to clean up and go in for dinner.” Or “you have three minutes before you need to get up and make the bed.” This is a common courtesy that we like to have extended ourselves, and is reasonable to give to others, including our children.

Tip #3: Praise
Praise is important for successful parenting. Make sure you praise the child’s behavior. Say “good job walking besides mommy” instead of saying “good boy.”

Tip #4: Reprimanding
On the flip side, don’t tell the child they’re ‘bad.’ Saying “hitting is wrong” is much different than saying “bad boy.” Try to reinforce positive actions by using positive words, like “John, walk” rather than saying “Don’t run John.” Don’t be afraid to look them in the eye and sternly say “No” or “Stop” but be careful that you’re not attaching critical personal statements.

Tip #5: Authority
Let your “no” mean “no” and your “yes” mean “yes” (see Mat 5:37). In other words, think before you either say “yes” or “no,” and stick to it. If you realize that you were being unreasonable (”You’re not leaving this house for a year!”) in a moment of frustration, don’t be afraid to admit your fault.

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Rocking a wee one to sleep by Momma5

I was a rocker and a nurser etc. to sleep. I spent many hours rocking babies, many hours sitting by cribs or toddler beds to make sure little ones stayed where they needed to be ... and guess what???? We all lived through it and my children are either grown up or on their way to growing up and I don't have to rock or nurse or cuddle anyone anymore!! And, I was privileged to spend many hours in prayer and worship during those times when little ones did not want to settle down ... I counted it to be precious time with my little one and with my Heavenly Father.

It is really true ... every child is different. I had some that learned fairly easy to put themselves to sleep and I had two that needed "help" for about 3+ years. Even those that needed the extra help did not need it all the time, as they would go through small periods where they would go right to sleep with no problems, but that was not the case most of the time. And then one day ... magically ... they did not need the cuddles or the rocking or the nursing anymore.

I will say that my 2 that got all the extra cuddles and loving at bedtime because they needed it are by far my most affectionate children today! I am not necessarily saying that they got lots of affection and therefore show extra affection, but I think they are just the type of persons who need/desire extra physical touch (their love language).

They do eventually learn!! Mine are between 8 yo and 23 yo now ... and none of them require rocking/cuddling/nursing to go to sleep!!! And I cannot begin to explain to you young mothers how fast the time has gone!! Some days it honestly feels like it has only been a few months since I was cuddling my oldest!! That is why I say that those years I spent putting them to sleep is just a blip on the radar of my life!!

~ Momma5

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Handling toddler disobedience while nursing a baby by MomofEight

Be careful that you don't make this time a battle.

Most toddlers want to be where you are, doing what you are doing. Nursing is a great time for quiet hugs and kisses....it is so easy to focus on your 2yo during this time, and baby doesn't mind either. Just make up your mind you will not be exasperated by your toddler....and don't.

A typical toddler needs some activity. Some suggestions are to give her a book and ask her questions like "can you find the bunny on this page?" "what do you see in the picture?" or "let me have your toes....lets play piggies." Engage her in another activity so that you get a still couch for nursing and keep the peace.

Some ideas, for things to do while nursing...teach her colors....can you find momma something red??? She could run to her room and retrieve something red....another something blue, etc..

~ MomofEight

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Potty training tips

Don't allow potty training to become a battle of wills. You want your child to *want* to please you, not demand it. You also want them to feel ownership so keep the attention positive.

Is your child capable of taking off and putting on their own pants? Wiping themselves? Washing their hands? Are they staying dry for a few hours at a time? Can they understand and speak enough for you to have a conversation about it?
Although every child is different, the average age for success is 30-36 months.

  • Reward your child with verbal praise if they stay dry. Have your child check and ask them if they are dry periodically and tell them it's nice if they are.

  • When there is an accident, remind them calmly that they should "go potty in the potty."

  • Practice - play a game and go somewhere in the house and exclaim "I have to go potty!" and then go to where the potty is and practice pulling down pants, sitting, and then pulling up pants. The child does not have to go, it's just teaching the right procedure. Teach your child how to wipe, flush, and wash her hands.

  • Avoid saying "do you have to go potty?" and instead say "lets go potty!" Announce when you are going potty and encourage other older ones in the house to announce it as well.

  • Don't punish accidents. Don't become angry or controlling and force them to sit on the potty until they go.

  • I would often reward a little one for success with an M&M or two.

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What kind of Potty?

It's a personal decision what kind of potty seat/chair you want to buy. A smaller child may be overwhelmed with the size of an adult toilet. A larger child may not. Some children love using the adult toilet, because it can be flushed! If you are using the adult toilet, I recommend that you invest in a sturdy step stool to make it easier for them. Don't forget you need to teach them to wash their hands, and they will need to reach the sink as well.

You can take a look on this link and see that there are a variety of adorable and practical Potty Chairs to suit your taste. I recommend that you allow your child to choose the one they want, which will give them some feelings of ownership which will help to motivate.

Don't forget that your child transferring to panties means that you will have to take him to public restrooms when you are in stores or on long trips. It can be inconvenient to stop when you are traveling, so if you will be taking any long trips in the near future, you may want to wait until you return.

For those times that you do have to use the public restroom, I love this handy Portable Potty Seat that you can keep in your diaper bag, until your child feels safe using the adult toilet.

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Potty training tricks for little boys

First, remember that little ones aren't going to be able to be potty trained unless they are capable of taking off and putting on their own pants.

Aiming takes practice. When a little boy starts urinating in a standing position, be prepared to wipe up (and/or have him wipe up) around the toilet.

• Show him how to point his penis down to avoid spraying the room whether by sitting down or standing up.

• Teach a boy to aim by having floating something in the toilet for him to aim at. (I've heard Cheerios are popular!)

• Drain the water from the toilet bowl and use a red grease pencil or nail polish on the porcelain to paint a circle. (I've never done this so I don't know if it comes off)

• Urinating into blue toilet bowel water will turn it green.

• In the summer, if you have a private backyard, let him practice his aim

• In the winter let him write in the snow.

• Don't forget to provide a step if he needs to be taller

• Be sure the toilet seat can't fall down on him. Teach him to check to be sure that the seat is up before he goes.


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First consider how you act when you are frustrated. Try and model the correct, calm way to solve problems. If the tantrum is in response to you saying, “no,” stand firm and don’t give in. Make sure your little guy is getting enough sleep. Try to remain calm and completely ignore the tantrum. Then, once it’s over, praise him for gaining control, and then leave it in the past.


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First, make sure your child’s needs are met - that she’s gotten enough sleep and food, and that she’s dressed appropriately and gotten plenty of hugs. And make sure she knows what whining is. Help her to understand how to correctly ask. Then, simply ignore whatever is asked for until it is asked in a proper tone.


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Young child acting out

First, always supervise young children closely. Compliment correct behavior. When a child does act out, an adult can simply stop a small child. You can simply lift them up, firmly tell them “no”, and remove them from the situation. You can set them in a safer place or you can hold them and talk to them about it if you can do so calmly.


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Highchair Manners

Make sure mealtimes are not a solitary event for your child. You should be interacting with the children and role modeling appropriate table manners. If the baby throws down food, say “NO” firmly. Wait a few moments. Ignore any crying or bad behavior. Then, put the food back on the tray. Repeat the process as long as needed.


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If you have more than one child, make sure you’re not playing favorites. Make sure you are giving plenty of love and attention to each child, regardless of their age. Pay attention and compliment children when they do get along. Try not to get upset when the children don’t get along. Let them learn naturally that it’s not much fun to play alone.

Make sure each child owns specific toys which they do not have to share. Allow them to share if they like, but don’t required them to. Allow them to keep special toys in a safe spot to keep them safe, and teach the children to respect their sibling’s boundaries. Have other toys that are for sharing. If toys are being misused, the toy is put in time-out.


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Eating Habits by MomofEight

Make meals an enjoyable time. Personally, I remind my children to sit at the table, but I don't "make" them eat (but I don't give snacks either, when they've not eaten) and they learn to eat heartily at meals. I do coax them with my own food, if they aren't eating well....ie: "mmmmn I really like peas." "This salad is so good"....etc. I sometimes reach over and take a small bite of their food laughing that will usually get them started eating.

~ MomofEight

Make sure you are eating right yourself. Avoid making comments about your child’s body type. Encourage small portions of healthy foods often. It’s not healthy to force children to eat or forbid them to eat. Try not to allow this area to become a child’s battle. Try not to spoil a child’s appetite with unhealthy snacks too close to meal time. Also, make sure they are not filling up with juice, milk, or other fillers at the start of the meal. Give them water to drink with their meal and then give them milk at the end of the meal. A child’s tummy is very small and can be filled up quickly.

Offer veggies with dips and sauces. A child, like adults, may dislike something prepared one way and love it prepared another. Encourage them to try a bite of everything each time and over time they may develop a taste for it. I always try to include in every meal at least one thing I know they like.

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Resisting bedtime

Set some rules and a bedtime routine. For instance, you may let your child know they can take one drink and one book to bed after they’ve gone potty and brushed their teeth. Set a timer for them to look through their book for a set period, like 15 minutes. And then stick with your rules. Offer cheerful praise and a reward for following the rules, such as allowing them to choose their breakfast cereal.


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Picking up toys

Preparation for success:

  • Don’t forget to notice and compliment when children DO clean up! And be reasonable with what you are expecting from the child according to their age.

  • Make sure there is a place for everything - that there is a place for all their toys and clothes. And, make sure the child knows where to put them. When they wake up, teach them to “put the pj’s in the drawer,” and when they take a shower to “put the dirty clothes in the basket.”

  • Show them how toys go into the box or on the shelf. If need be, have them sit down and tell them to watch you pick up the room. Make sure you are cheerful, calm, and are truly helpful.

  • As you put things away, explain to them where you are putting things. Next time tell them it’s their turn. Sit and watch them and offer them assistance as needed.

  • Help them succeed by not allowing things to get too out of hand before having them clean up. If it’s an incredible mess, it may very well be too overwhelming for a child to clean up on their own.

  • If your children are small, I suggest keeping only a limited amount of toys down within reach and the rest up on shelves out of their reach. You can get them down at your discretion and they won’t be able to make too big of a mess.

  • For the older child, let them know ahead of time that if things are not cleaned up, that you will be putting them into a garbage bag and putting them away somewhere. Continue until they are willing to pick up their own things.

When it's time to clean:

  • Make sure to give your child a warning.... "you have five minutes more to play, and then you are going to have to pick up your toys"

  • Make eye contact, smile, and be firm/pleasant..."it is time for you to pick up the toys now." If she hesitates, help her. Tell her "you pick up the blocks and momma will pick up the trucks."

  • If she refuses, take her hand and help her pick up the toys. Once you get her started, she will most likely continue.

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Refusing to Obey

Don't forget to notice and compliment the times they DO follow directions.

When a child does not obey, make sure you are giving clear directions. Young ones will only be able to follow one or two directions at a time (as they mature). If you say, “pick up those toys, put them away, and get over here” that is three directions. Some parents give several directions at once without realizing it. Try sticking to no more than two and state them clearly. Say, “pick up the train and set it on the table.”

Once the child has done that, say “Thank you for picking up the train. Come over to me.” Follow through with making sure what you told them to do, IS done. For example, if needed, get up and draw gently them to you.

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Training for going out by Pitterpat

The first thing that came to mind is to pray! and then the second thing is to "play act" with the children the different errands you may need to run with them at home before you need to do it (this will take organization and planning on your part but shouldn't be terribly difficult)! I would make it a lesson but fun at the same time. Engage the children but set your standard about each situation. Practice, practice, practice and be sure they know your expectations of them

~ Pitterpat

by Prov31wannaB...

Try to shop at night when Dad can be there and stores are less crowded (not at supper time). Also, give some responsibility to the trainee. My 4yo loves to push the buttons on the little produce machine that weighs the produce and spits out a sticker. Maybe you can show her a coupon and ask her to find that product on the shelf. Only one or two tasks per trip so as not to exasperate Mom. Then reward at the end of the trip with a privilege rather than a bought treat. I have stopped at a drive thru for cherry limeade or other treat for my helper. It's the time with Mom they love, not so much the treat.

~ Prov31wannaB

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Basic do's and don'ts of parenting

1. Give clear, simple directions. Start off by only expecting them to be able to follow one direction at a time. For example, do NOT say, "pick up the book, put it on the table, and come sit by me." That’s three directions. Give only one direction at a time at first. At home, in a non-stress situation, see how many they can process (it’s not a test of obedience), give two, then three, and see how many they are able to process and follow. Eventually a child will be able to follow three directions. But we can only expect the child to follow the number of directions appropriate for their particular developmental stage. Praise following directions.

2. Teach them to come, by saying, “come here please,” and draw him to you. Give him a hug and say, “thank you for coming.” Practice this each day.

3. Give him a “job” of holding or doing something important.

4. Give him an idea of the time he will be doing something (especially if he views it as unpleasant). For example, show him your watch and say, “we must sit and wait until this big hand reaches the number 12, which is right here.”

5. Let them do as many things by themselves as possible without telling them to stop. 2, 3, and 4 year olds like to make choices. This builds skills and self confidence. Avoid unnecessary rules.

6. Forewarn. "You have five minutes left to play. After that we are going outside.

7. Use countdown. "Pick up your toys now. One-two-three-four-five"

8. Use when-then statements: "When you sit on the chair, THEN you may have the book." or "When you have washed your hands, then you may eat."

9. Establish clear expectations. For example, “you must stay one arm’s length from me.” Explain why you have this rule and expectation you do (ie: safety, manners, etc). Don't forget to practice!

10. Don’t go out when they are hungry or overly-tired. Consider these reasons when they do misbehave.

11. Model the behavior you expect. If you are walking around, but expect them to sit, they will mimic what you’re doing, rather than doing as you say.

12. Don't back down. Stay calm. Preschoolers thrive on power, they like to know they have the power to affect (for good or bad).

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Loving Guidance by Momma5

Somewhere between child number one and the others the Lord began to teach me more about the loving Heavenly Father/His child relationship. He impressed upon me that I (when I use the word *I* ... read *we*, as my dh and I were in complete unison through this) was the one teaching my son about God and the loving Father that He is. Yes, I believe that God disciplines me when I am disobedient, but I believe He desires to lovingly guide me into obedience so that discipline will not be necessary as often. This, then, became our focus for parenting.

I have a term "Loving Guidance." It became our desire to lovingly guide our children into obedience by using joy, gentleness, by being patient and understanding the different stages and development, by having realistic expectations, lovingly pointing them toward the Father and obedience ... sounds like allot of the Fruit of the Spirit in there, doesn't it??

How has this worked in our family?? Giving all glory to God ...We have 5 out of 5 children who are well-behaved, obedient people who are thriving in their relationship with their Savior and others. We have a peaceful home ... which is such a blessing.

Now that our oldest son is an adult, I have apologized to him for being harder and more demanding on him than the others. He has lovingly forgiven me and understands that as parents we make mistakes. How thankful that we have a wonderful relationship and that he has grown into a kind, godly adult. I have the feeling that when he and his wife have children, they will use a similar parenting style to *loving guidance*.

~ Momma5

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Problems with an older child by Bunnybear

Try sitting down with him, just the two of you or 3 of you with Dad, and have a little heart-to-heart. Telling him the things you've noticed about his attitude and things he's doing to show his disrespect and disobedience. And just ask him, "can you tell me why you are behaving this way all of a sudden?"

I've found little heart-to-heart's like this helpful. And an older child should be able to verbalize his feelings.

Keep him at arm's reach and if you know his "love language" make sure he's feeling loved from you.

Also dad has a pivotal role at this age (well, I guess any age). Sometimes if I notice an attitude with my oldest, many times some alone time with dad will "cure" the problem.

~ Bunnybear

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Motivation for chores or homework

In the older child, teach good work habits by withholding rewards until the work is done. It is good to establish a family fun day, like going to the park, the movies, or a bike ride. Choose something fun and inexpensive they like to do at the end of the week. Then, establish a point system - give points for making beds, for cleaning up, for doing each day’s school work, for feeding the dog…whatever you expect the child to do. At the end of the week, they have to have a minimum number of acceptable points to enjoy the special activity.

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General mindset on behavior

The most important thing about children is not necessarily their current behavior. It’s important that our children be confident they have OUR hearts. It is imperative for them to KNOW you love them. We all have a tendency to think “of course they know I love them” but we need to make sure they know this without a doubt. We need to make sure we are doing what we can to meet their love-needs. Children sense our displeasure and can take that to mean that we love them a little less.

So make sure you connect with your child and that will help to prevent a lot of problems. But for those times we need to address behavior (and we all do), know that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all discipline. Also, make sure you are aware of the normal stages of development every child goes through - not to excuse a child’s behavior - but to educate and prepare yourself. Each child may require a slightly different approach to training. We should get to know our child, work on bonding with them, and be in fellowship with them. We need to depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to teach gently, in love, and with grace. Hopefully this web site will help get you started.

God gave us 18 years of childhood for us to train our children slowly, thoroughly, patiently, and lovingly. Enjoy your child and the opportunity that you have to help them, guide them, and teach them about life.discipline tips


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Common Issues:

Tips for Success

Rocking a wee one to sleep

Handling toddler while nursing a baby

Potty training tips

What kind of Potty?

Potty training tips for little boys



Young child acting out

Highchair Manners


Eating Habits

Resisting bedtime

Picking up toys

Refusing to Obey

Training for going out

Basic do's and don'ts

Loving Guidance

Problems with an older child

Motivation for chores or homework

General mindset on behavior









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