How To Charm Your Toddler Into Behaving
Toddlers can be notoriously difficult to handle. We’ve all heard of the ‘terrible twos’ and there’s a very good reason why this phrase was coined. However there are ways to avoid conflict and persuade your toddler to behave.
1. Be Regular
You should try and avoid allowing your toddler to get tired or hungry as this will have an adverse effect upon their behaviour. Many a tantrum is caused by a late night or a missed meal; but the toddler is too young to realise what the real problem is. They only know that they don’t feel right. Regular meals and bed-times will keep your toddler at his best. One final tip, adults behave better when they aren’t tired and hungry too!
2. Create a Diversion
You’ll never win an argument with a toddler so don’t get drawn into one in the first place, but young children are incredibly easy to distract. Rather than argue over trivia which can often escalate into a full-blown tantrum (on your part and theirs!) create a diversion. Even a ruse as simple as, “Oh look at that funny cat on the TV”, will generally work in distracting their attention from whatever was upsetting them.
3. Be Chilled
Always be calm and relaxed. Toddlers will get excited at the drop of a hat, so much of your time will be spent trying to keep them calm. If you get worked up, then they will too, however if you keep your cool then you have a much better chance of them being co-operative. The world is a big scary place to a toddler and they will feel frightened if the adult they are with gets agitated.
4. Don’t Be a Drama Queen
Small children (and older ones too) love to get a reaction from their parents. If a toddler behaves in a certain way and gets a dramatic reaction, then the chances are they will want to repeat the experiment! So try to give low-key reactions when they’re pushing your buttons. Calmly tell them that their behaviour is wrong and inform them of the consequences of repeating the behaviour in question.
In addition, don’t describe your child’s bad behaviour to all your relatives and friends in front of them, because this form of attention will encourage the inappropriate behaviour. Only talk about the things your toddler has done well in front of them, as good behaviour deserves lots of attention!
5. Be As Busy As a Bee
Another major reason for misbehaviour in a small child is boredom. Toddlers don’t have the concentration to study a book or even a TV programme for too long, but are always off looking for the next new thing to explore. This is how they learn, but can make them very tiring companions.
In a situation where there is nothing for them to do, such as a bus stop or a waiting room, then they will often appear to misbehave. But usually they are in actual fact trying to explore and satisfy their curiosity. Avoid problems by taking a picture book to read to them, a new toy, or some crayons and paper to occupy them.
A problem anticipated is a problem solved where toddlers are concerned. I can’t promise that your toddler won’t ever misbehave again, but you will certainly avoid many confrontations by following the five steps above. Your toddler will behave better with no shouting, threatening or punishments, because you will be engineering a situation where they don’t want to misbehave. You will, in fact, be charming your toddler into behaving.