WHAT IF THERE WAS A WAY TO TURN THE TERRIBLE TWOS INTO TERRIFIC TWOS?? WELL, THERE KIND OF IS AND WE THINK WE’VE UNCOVERED SOME MAGIC HERE MAMAS.
AFTER DOING A TON OF RESEARCH (YA KNOW FOR A FRIEND WITH UNRULY TOTS HEHEHEH) WE COMPILED A LIST OF THE ONLY ADVICE YOU’LL EVER NEED FOR PARENTING A TODDLER - - AND IT WORKS!! GET OUT YOUR PEN AND PAPER --
STICK TO A SCHEDULE/ROUTINE
One of the reasons kids act out is because they are confused or overwhelmed because they don’t understand what is going on. That’s why kids are more likely to act like brats in a new situation meeting all your relatives, for instance. It’s unfamiliar.
On the other hand, most kids thrive with a schedule.
As much as possible, then, stick to one! Up at 7, play until 7:45, then breakfast. Play until 10, then outing. Home for lunch. Do a craft. Take a nap. Etc. etc
2. BE UNDERSTANDING
Kids are kids, and often we expect them to be able to behave better than perhaps we should.
GIVE THEM THE BEST POSSIBLE CHANCE AT SUCCESS.
MEANING, HAVE TOYS FOR THEM ON PLANES, GIVE THEM A (HEALTHY) TREAT FIRST THING DURING A TRIP TO THE MARKET – GIVE THEM DESSERT WHILE YOU’RE EATING DINNER OUT WITH THEM. – OR DARE I SAY, AN IPAD?
On the same note, if/when you kid is frustrated and begins to act out, get down to their level and say something like this: “I understand how frustrated you are because you want to stay and play at the park, but mommy has to leave now. Why don’t you come with me and we can cook together at home”
Believe it or not, you reasoning with them will actually encourage them to reason with you. It’s quite amazing.
3. KEEP DISCIPLINE IMMEDIATE AND QUICK.
Kids don’t have long attention spans, and they don’t always understand things when there’s too much time between infraction and punishment.
If they’ve just bitten somebody, then you must respond right then. If my children were at playgroup, for instance, and they did something horribly inappropriate, like biting or throwing a tantrum, we would leave. They were very upset about that, and it often made the tantrum worse, but they had to learn that they couldn’t act that way in that setting.
ALSO- PUNISHMENT SHOULD FIT OR BE CONNECTED TO THE CRIME – MEANING IF THEY THROW A TOY THEY LOSE THAT TOY –NOT SAY, TV WHICH HAS NO CONNECTION TO THEIR ACTION.
4. BE CONSISTENT
It’s better NOT to discipline or threaten if you’re not going to follow through in the same way all the time.
It’s better to have small consequences that you always enforce than some big ones you’re haphazard about, because you just confuse kids about the rules.
So don’t threaten something in anger. Ask yourself, “can I really follow through? Can I follow through like this on another day, too – HELL AND WHO WANTS TO GIVE UP TV FOR A WEEK -- !??!
5. TRY NOT TO YELL
YELLING SCARES KIDS AND UNDERMINES YOUR AUTHORITY.
Enforce consequences instead in a nice voice. “It’s too bad you can’t play with bunny anymore today, but Mommy warned you, and I have to take it away now.” Yelling creates a horrible environment in the home, and it’s not necessary except in really bad circumstances. Kids are far more likely to accept a consequence when you announce it in a firm but normal voice than if you go off the deep end.