Why Children Need Rules
It's one of the most basic parenting facts: Toddlers behave best when given limits. In fact, they crave them. "Rules provide the predictability and stability kids this age really need," says James Windell, a family therapist in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. "They learn that they can always count on you, which makes them feel secure." Unfortunately, this is also the stage when your child is exploring her independence -- which she accomplishes by challenging your carefully laid-down laws. It's only natural to get frustrated and, in the process, fall into some not so stellar discipline habits. But if you can follow through on even a few of these simple resolutions, you'll see better behavior in no time.