“I don’t want too”, “No!”, “Give Me”, “Now!” if any of these sound familiar than, your little bundle of joy is probably a mere 3 ft tall and quite an opinionated little package. Yes, you have a toddler or maybe I should say she/he has you. 😉
So what to do with your little one that you love unconditionally, but constantly tests your boundaries? Here are some helpful tips that will help your child step away from the NO and I don’t want behaviors to more positive cooperative ones:
1) Punishments are motivated by fear and are an ineffective tool – It is first important to step away from the traditional mind set about “discipline” and “authority”. The traditional discipline focuses on controlling your child’s’ behaviors or misbehaviors. Instead, rather than looking at your child’s “misbehavior” as an opportunity to control and demonstrate power, usually through punishments, time outs etc… try to look at these moments as an opportunity to teach. Correcting your child’s behavior through punishment will teach them that power comes from over powering others whereas what you want to teach is that power comes from within and they are capable of making their own choice without being motivated by the fear of getting punished.
2) Conflicts / tantrums are an opportunity to teach a missing skill – When the sole motivator for a child’s behavior is fear he or she is completely missing out on the opportunity to learn a skill. So instead of saying “You are hitting your sister go to your room or go to time out” try something like “It looks like you are wanting your sister’s attention, you both like playing with the legos…try to invite her to play with you”. This kind of communication with your child will teach them the skill of better communication with others.
3) Love will give your child a sense of security and support – Stepping away from manipulating your child into a certain behavior will instantly create a child that doesn’t manipulate you. Isn’t that a coincidence 😉 So, instead of saying “hold my hand while we cross the street or I will leave you here by yourself” say “Please hold my hand so that mommy/daddy can protect you and keep you safe from the fast cars” if your child is having an emotional break down or a tantrum he simply doesn’t have the skill to deal with a certain situation, give them a hug and simply tell them “BREATH, Everything is ok you are safe with me”. Step away from the traditional feeling of my child is having a tantrum to annoy me or to bother me. Your child is just learning to navigate through life and needs you to teach them how.
Give your opinionated 2 1/2 feet tall bundle of joy the opportunity to choose without being motivated by fear or being manipulated by punishments….give your child the skills to resolve conflict and lastly, help them feel safe and loved.
“Children are imperfect but worthy of love and belonging” – Dr. Brené Brown
Here are two great books I highly recommend every parent reads :):
Please feel free to comment and share any struggles you might have with your child.
Le Petit Gan ❤️