Do toddlers come with an instruction book? Even when following the latest trend in parenting techniques, your toddler figures out a way to wiggle out of the situation as the victor. Every parent has felt like this at times. Having a few simple parenting techniques in your back pocket to use consistently and fairly will put you ahead of the game, and more importantly give you a way to face any situation.
By the time the child is 18 months old, introduce time-out. Prior to 18 months of age, you should redirect the baby’s behavior. Pick her up and place her in another part of the room with a reminder, “Don’t pull on the lamp cord. It could go boom-boom and fall on you.” Time-out is a break in the action. Designate a special time-out chair where she sits for a brief two minutes. The time-out gives you and the child time to think about her actions. Use a timer to alert the toddler time is up. If she refuses to sit in the time-out chair, sit next to her or hold her while you sit in the chair. When her time is up, it is time to move on. Say, “I hope you can remember to play nicely with your brother.
If you know that your child has a hard time controlling himself in certain situations, plan ahead. “If you let me shop without asking me to buy you something that’s not on our list, I will buy you one extra treat. Would you like a Popsicle or a pack of gum?” Planning ahead involves telling your child what she will be faced with and what you expect from her. If you set the rules ahead of time, it is easier to follow them. Don’t give in. If she does ask for something, she has given up her chance for a treat. Being consistent when following the rules you have explained will help her remember the rules the next time she goes to the store with you.
Offer logical consequences, rather than punishment, for children when they do not follow the rules that you have established. Logical consequences involve asking the child to look at his behavior. If he writes on the newly painted dining room wall, give him a bucket and cleanser to clean it up. If a toddler knocks over his sister’s block tower, he must stop his actions and put it back together again. Punishment often makes children feel badly about their actions. Logical consequences help children gain self-control and learn from their mistakes. Adults are faced with logical consequences everyday. If an adult fails to pay a car payment, the repo man comes to get the car. Logical consequences should work the same way at your house with your children.
Appreciate the Good
Acknowledge and appreciate good behavior from your child. Start a rewards chart. Whenever she does her chores, gets ready on time or is helpful with her baby brother, add a sticker to the reward chart and compliment her. “Thank you for getting the baby wipes for me. You can put a sticker on your reward chart.” This type of language goes a long way in raising an obedient child who wants to please.