Don’t say no
Think positive with toddlers to create a great, growing relationship.
“Don’t do that!”
Hearing yourself saying these negative things all the time is disheartening. Try these ways to get things back into a positive mood.
- Make space. Allow your toddler to explore in an area where he won’t get hurt or damage anything. It doesn’t have to be a huge playroom. Just make a space on a soft carpet where he can play comfortably with toys and not be underfoot. Paint a “blackboard” on one wall where he can draw with chalk, create a frame on the wall where he can paint. Allow exploring.
- Distract and conquer. If he is using his toy to bang on the glass window, give him a play hammer and blocks or pots and pans to bang on.
- Offer choices. Your toddler enjoys to be offered choices and builds self-esteem. When he ask for something, instead of saying a flat “no” offer him other alternatives that are suitable.
- Act early. Don’t ignore your child and hope he’ll stop playing up. He won’t.
- Avoid rewarding bad behaviour. Your attention is a powerful reward for your child. Avoid giving it when your child is doing something you don't like. Putting your child down (if you are holding him) or walking away from him are good ways of not giving attention if your toddler keeps doing something you don't like after you have asked him to stop.
- Be patient. Learning what’s right and wrong can take a while for your toddler.
- Notice the progress. Give your toddler recognition when he does something right – like not touching something when you ask him not to.
- Be consistent. Set up routines that make daily life more predictable and give your toddler security. Stick to a few simple rules. Your toddler will respond better to clear directions versus lots of words.