Toddlerhood is such an interesting phase in our children’s development. We are exposed to the tantrums, attempts at independence, sheer defiance at times, as well as delightful or not-so-delightful habits and behaviours. Their moods change on a daily basis as do their likes and dislikes.
Therefore so much of what we see at this age is just a phase that they will outgrow. Toddlers need heaps of affection and attention to encourage positive behaviour and to redirect not-so-nice actions. So how can we manage their behaviour while keeping ourselves, and them, sane?
- Try to avoid constantly telling your toddler ‘no’, as this can inhibit their natural curiosity;
- create situations where your child can explore life safely;
- use distractions in order to change their behaviours;
- offer them basic choices between two items or activities as this allows them to develop and exert their independence;
- give simple explanations for things so they understand why they have to do certain things or aren’t allowed to do others;
- be consistent in the way you manage their behaviour;
- ignore the bad behaviour as far as possible, providing it is not dangerous or destructive;
- reward the good behaviours;
- be specific in praise so they know what it is that makes you happy;
- give them a warning when things are going to change or about to happen, such as “you need to tidy up in 5 minutes” or “ you need to get ready for your bath just now” to avoid those tantrums.