Toddler Behavior Management and Modification Tips

Toddlers are always full of energy and need constant supervision.  They also manage to pull in a crowd to coo after them, but then they throw a tantrum and you’re left to deal with the aftermath. Toddler discipline and toddler behavior management can be a long and overwhelming road. And yet toddler discipline is a crucial factor in raising well behaved, obedient children. Molding toddler behavior is important to shape their personality and character. It certainly isn’t an easy job, but young parents can learn a few tricks to make this an easier process ...

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Toddler Behavior Modification Tips

Listen, Understand, Discipline

Children are always curious about the world around them. They use this curiosity to learn and understand their environment. Hindering this curiosity can hamper and dampen their growth as independent individuals. Instead parents need to observe and understand this curiosity and channel it in the right direction. Instead of peppering a toddler’s explorations with ‘no’ and ‘don’t’ try adding a lesson to every action. Use pop-up books, props, stories and educational cartoons to satiate this curiosity. This helps channel possible destructive behavior to a more meaningful educational experience.

Positive Reinforcement and Discipline

Constant berating and disapproval (as well as yelling) affect the toddler negatively. It either encourages rebellion or it suppresses enthusiasm, both affect complete growth. Convert negative expressions into positive statements. Instead of yelling ‘Don’t put that in your mouth!’ try ‘That’s dirty. It will make you sick and we’ll have to go to see the doctor. Eat this clean apple. It will make you strong.’ This statement is positive. It offers an explanation and consequence to both the negative and positive actions. It is also important to reward good behavior. Praise your child when he gets it right. At the same time when he does something wrong instead of calling him naughty or bad try explaining to him why he should not do it.

Provide Structure

Establishing routines, limits and structures is essential for toddler behavior modification. Routines teach the toddler to accept and follow structured day to day activities. This in turn will later help the child adapt into routines followed by playgroups, kindergartens and schools. Routines also add structure. By following a routine, the child gets enough playtime, enough sleep and eats at all the right time. The child is happier as are the parents. It is also essential to make rules enjoyable. Instead of making the toddle clean up, make it a race as to who clears the toys firs. It is also essential for both parents to give out the same message. If the child senses weakness in one parent or a divide, he is going to exploit it.

Include and Distract

Providing positive distractions are an effective way of enforcing toddler behavior modification. If you need to finish some work, include your toddler in the process. Hand the child a paper and some crayons. As you work, let the toddler work too. Similarly when you are entertaining, let the toddler throw a party for his or her toys too. This is an effective way to educate and encourage creativity.

Lead Instead of Ordering

Order a toddler is as effective as ordering a teenager. Chances are both will do exactly the opposite of what you ordered. An easy way of dealing with such toddler behavior problems is a technique called presupposition. This technique calls for building in an assumption into a statement that subconsciously leads the toddler into following the rule. If you want to establish a set nap time for the toddler and he is resisting, try the presupposition approach: ‘After you wake up from your nap, let’s go to the park.’  The toddler automatically gathers ‘First nap. Then park.’

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