Saturday, September 27, 2008

Toddler taming tips

Having a toddler can be a very challenging time for a parent as your child learns to speak and develop a will of their own it can be hard to keep control, try some or all of these tips to try to help
  • redirection, often the best form of control is simply to give them something else to do. They usually love helping with household chores or baking and generally will readily go and play with another toy if you encourage it.

  • say no calmly, it important that you say no in a controlled manner whilst facing your child, it is a good to explain your reasons but do not feel obligated to explain your rationale for the things that you ask of your child, every time that you ask something of them. Many parents fall into the trap of explaining the rationale behind all of their requests, usually because they want their child to feel respected. This is time consuming and can lead to arguments and a power struggle, at the end of the day you are the parent and what you say goes.

  • show a united front, do not allow your child to play you off each other, children quickly learn who is a soft touch and use it to their advantage, it is important to make decisions about how you will discipline the child together and then stick to them.

  • use positive praise, Always look for your child's good behaviour and praise it, if its all negative that is what they will settle for and you will have a little nightmare on your hands.

  • turn a blind eye, to minor annoying behaviour and naughtiness they are on a learning curve and only discipline dangerous or annoying behaviour.

  • don't expect good behaviour all the time, even the most angelic and placid children have to learn. It's normal for toddlers to test your reactions and patience by doing things over and over, even after you've told them not to. This is how they learn what is acceptable and where the limits are.

  • look at it from their point of view, its good to try and remind yourself of how it was to be a child and how unfair the adult world often seemed.

  • make a routine and try to stick to it, if you change it and you inevitably will tell your child in advance and explain why. This helps your child feel secure and there will be less need for conflict if your child expects things to happen in a certain way or at a particular time.

  • set simple boundaries and enforce them together. Children rarely feel secure if they're allowed to do exactly what they want and in many cases they will behave worse to discover what the boundaries are.

  • create family rules, keep them simple and to a minimum. Explain the rule and the consequences of not sticking to them. Remember young children can't possibly remember too many rules, never mind stick to them.

  • be realistic, most behaviour parents call naughty or disobedient is just a normal part of development. Younger toddlers want to touch everything to find out how it works, when they can't it looses their interest so they drop it. Older toddlers are trying to assert their independence. All of this is normal and to minimise damage you need to think ahead try not to put your child in situations they can't handle and try remove temptation before it is zeroed in on by your toddler. This is especially important in other peoples homes nobody will mind if you say can i just move this i would hate it to get damaged, but you can be sure they will mind if your toddlers takes a fancy to a nice little antique ornament and then smashes it when they see something more exciting.