Managing Toddlers

When children are somewhere between the age of two and three, they start to argue and say”No!”, they throw temper tantrums and want things their way all the time.  This can be tiring and one long continuous battle if you fight back.  As Parents.com says, you need to learn to pick your battles.  It is roughly estimated that toddlers argue 20-25 times an hour, and no is their favorite word.  When a child says no, the parent is in a tough situation where if they give in they send the message out that the child is in control, and if the parent remains strict, the child can experience fear and anxiety, which creates more oppositional behavior.  Parents must learn to walk a fine line. One strategy is to cut down how often you say no yourself.  The toddler doesn’t like to hear it anymore than you do. Parents need to tell the child what they want rather than what they don’t want.  For example, “Make sure your crayon is on the paper”, rather than, “Don’t draw on the table”.  Another strategy is to let the child make choices as often as you can.  If it is just what kind of sandwich they want out of PB&J or ham, let the child choose.  Then when situations come up that the child should not have a choice, for example wearing a seat belt, the child should react more agreeably because they feel more empowered at being able to make some decisions vs. no decisions.

It is important to realize the independence the child is battling with develops the child’s self image. By arguing with you the child gains self confidence. On the other hand, letting them know you make the rules leads them to feel safe knowing you are taking care of them.  It is important for parents to be in tune with the child so they know when they need to take charge and when the child can make their own decision. Once these ground rules are laid out, the parent needs to be consistent.  There will be less fighting and a clearer picture to the toddler if they are familiar with the rules.

Jennifer Poulos

Parents.com

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~ by sun71 on October 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “Managing Toddlers”

  1. Cool! This is a good post. I did mine on Temper Tantrums and I think both of ours go hand in hand. It’s true that during these young ages children are undergoing a development of self image. They have immense and often “scary and confusing” emotions they are going through as well. By caregivers learning to watch what they say, and watch how they conduct themselves, (simply put: regulating themselves) their emotional “coaching” will become effective when correct principles of parenting are applied.

  2. Cool! This is a good post. I did mine on Temper Tantrums and I think both of ours go hand in hand. It’s true that during these young ages children are undergoing a development of self image. They have immense and often “scary and confusing” emotions they are going through as well. By caregivers learning to watch what they say, and watch how they conduct themselves, (simply put: regulating themselves) their emotional “coaching” will become effective when correct principles of parenting are applied.

    -Jeff Scott (forgot to put name)

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