Obviously toddlers have different behaviours so this is not an easy one size fits all question. So I am asking generically as opposed to specifically.
Today I had to discipline my toddler for a very minor issue of disobedience. My child proceeded to have a full on nuclear meltdown, and so what started as a minor issue turned into a very serious and mutually stressful stand-off between me and him.
In these scenarios I have thus far decided that I will simply stand my ground.
Dealing with the tantrum:
So first of all, to deal with the tantrum, my Son is made to calm down fully before he is allowed to do something else. I will not engage with him either. In practice this usually involves him sitting on a naughty step until he is done. When he has calmed down, I allow our interaction to continue and provided he doesn't return to the meltdown, I go on as if it never happened.
Dealing with the disobedience.
Once the tantrum has been dealt with, I go back to the disobedience. So if the disobedience is outstanding (i.e. he hasn't done whatever it was and it still needs to be done) then he is made to do it.
Now, this is all well and good, but I have major trouble with it in practice. Usually the instant I go back to the disobedience he returns to the tantrum. So we end up in a viscous circle. Since I have previously made the decision to out-stubborn him, this can go on for a very long time and he gets into a ridiculous state.
I don't do any of this to be nasty to him. I only want him to learn the right things. I think my method stands up to rational scrutiny, but the practical effects do not.
Today it happened and, afterwards, I again questioned my technique. He was in such a state that I don't think he even understood what was happening anymore. And I don't think he learned anything positive as a result of it either.
He is only 2 (and a half) and I wonder if I am applying a discipline that is only suited to older children. Or maybe my method is no good at all.
I am determined not to be ruled by my 2 year old, or my future 4 year old, or my future teenager. He definitely has to learn. But I open up to fellow parents:
How should I do it in a way that is best for him? I define "best for him" as being that which results in the best outcome: a person with good manners, patience, integrity, etc. If that means me suffering somehow in the meantime it is irrelevant.