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Sep 26, 2013

Healthy Living looks at importance of discipline for toddlers

Tonight on Healthy Living, we have teamed up once again with the National Committee for Families and children and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children to discuss parenting tips. Tonight’s segment looks at the importance of discipline for toddlers.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

It’s often said that “children don’t come with a manual.” So, no matter how prepared you thought you were for children, expect to have a bumpy ride. One of the most challenging areas is disciplining your child.


Dr. Cecilio Eck, Consultant/Pediatrician

Cecilio Eck

“In our culture sometimes disciplining of children come too early, disciplining of children also starts too late and in some cases it is overdone. In other instances it’s is not done appropriately. We usually split techniques of discipline by age groups.  All pediatricians won’t advocate for corporal punishment. The reason for that is simple: corporal punishment means that when daddy or mommy is upset, we hit out. So what you have is a child who learns that.”


It’s a paradigm shift for some parents to break away from corporal punishment; let’s face it, saying “no” is never enough. Dr. Eck, as a part of his well child care, makes it a priority to advice parents the basics of disciplining. The first rule, is to keep actions age appropriate.


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“Proper disciplining has a far reaching effect. It starts at an age appropriate for the development and it should continue throughout. Between zero and two, is the age where people say that a baby cannot be spoiled. But if its, again in my culture, we begin corporal punishment from early, if you work in the accident and emergency you see a lot of babies coming in with injuries, or in front of you you’ll see ladies spank a child when they are breastfeeding and the child would bite and  say “don’t bite.” Then you kind of realize that at that age a baby won’t understand what biting is or won’t know why mommy is beating it.  You should actually at that age, just remove the stimulus. So if the bay is biting you remove him from the breast. If the baby is doing some sort of bad behavior you try and distract.”


But what about when they become toddlers; approaching the infamous terrible twos?


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“Between two to about eight or nine, I institute the time out technique and its pretty straight forward technique. In our culture, some people may laugh and you and say my kid will not take to that. My example is my three kids, my first she use to get corporal punishment, my son the middle child after I learned this technique; he had his timeout chair with the tiny one she has her time out chair and time out room now.”


So what is a proper “timeout?” Here are the basics of using this method. First distinguish which behaviors are non-negotiable and negotiable.


 Dr. Cecilio Eck

“Non-negotiable are hitting biting cursing things are very rude and they know they shouldn’t do. The negotiable ones are if they whine, if they see something in the store and you tell them no and they continue to cry, then you count I usually tell parents count to three and when you reach there that’s is the time out. A chair in a quiet corner of the house….one minute for each year of life…if they get up and put the back until they stay.   While the child is in the corner then no interaction…you leave them there. When the timer clicks off… I advocate that you tell them don’t…time back with the family.”


Do not keep on scolding the child after the timeout has been completed.  If your toddler has a temper tantrum, DO NOT give in to their behavior. This actually reinforces the tantrum; so your best bet is to ignore it. Remember that timeouts are best for toddlers because of what they are development for that particular age. Also, look out for good behavior too so you can praise them and they’ll learn that positive actions are rewarded and make sure everyone is on board with the process.


Dr. Cecilio Eck

“It has to do with persistence of the parent, have a family meeting…there will be a lot of discord in the family. Start early stick to it…values you teach will make them a more law abiding citizen down the road.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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