Learn more about positive parenting, disciplining and screen time.

Parenting starts from the moment your baby is born. Take time to review our parenting page in our Life with Your Baby section to learn more about:

  • Love and attachment
  • Listening to your baby's cues
  • Routines
  • Adjusting to parenthood
  • Finding support
  • Positive parenting programs

Understanding your child's emotions

Over time, children learn how to cope with their emotions and express their feelings in appropriate ways. Parents can help them through this by modelling control of their own frustration and anxiety.

By understanding your child’s temperament, you can be better prepared when in group settings, with new experiences or smoothing transitioning from one activity to another.

Dealing with challenging behaviour

There will be times when your toddler's behaviours may be challenging as they test ideas, boundaries and power. Positive discipline (see page 81 here) is a strategy to teach your child as they grow. What approach you take to discipline will depend, in part on: 

  • Your child's age
  • Stage of development
  • Personality

Some strategies that can assist you include:

  • Giving simple choices
  • Distracting your child with something new or different
  • Re-directing your child's attention
  • Setting limits
  • Giving simple consequences

Learn more about strategies on dealing with challenging behaviours.

Time outs

Time outs are used to move your toddler away from a situation where her or his behaviour is unacceptable. Some points to consider when deciding if a time out is appropriate:

  • Use as a disciplining tool with children two years and older.
  • Keep time out short (one minute for each year of your child’s age).
  • Remain in the same room as the time-out corner or chair.


Physical punishment, such as spanking, can be physically and emotionally harmful to your child. There are effective ways to teach your child that promote positive self-esteem, respect for others and the necessary skills for coping with life. Learn how you can guide your child with positive discipline (see page 81 here).

Biting and hitting

Biting is a common behaviour for young children. Most biting can be prevented as you help your child to express their feelings in more acceptable ways. Learn what you can do about your child’s biting.

Aggressive behaviour can often be prevented before it begins. Anticipating situations that may cause aggressive behaviour and re-directing the behaviour in a positive way can be helpful and relieve stress. When possible, alert children before transitions, such as the end of playtime, leaving an outing, or the arrival or departure of guests. Remember to reward desired behavior to reinforce to children what is expected of them.

Time with TV, computers and electronics

Our lives are often filled with TV, computers, video games and electronics, often referred to as screen time. These gadgets easily grab our toddler’s full attention. 

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends:

  • Children less then two years of age do not have any screen time.
  • Children age two to four have less then two hours per day.

Practice good role modelling as a parent. Turn off the iPad, TV or computer and play with your toddler.