Parenting a wilful toddler can be filled with joys and challenges, sometimes just moments apart. Toddlers need to interact with other children to help them to learn important social skills such as co-operative play, sharing and taking turns, as well as other developmental areas like problem solving and communication. Here at Oakdowns Early Learning Centre your child will have the opportunity to develop these skills, foster meaningful relationships, and engage in experiences that will benefit them now and in the future.
Here's some helpful tips from the wonderful educators at Oakdowns Early Learning Centre to help you guide your toddler's behaviour.
Distraction/Diversion – To avoid a melt down or conflict, try diverting your toddler's attention to another interesting activity they will enjoy. For example, if it's time to go home from the playground try focusing on the fun things you will do together when you get home like reading a favourite book or enjoying a favourite activity together.
Communication - Encourage toddlers to express themselves in words rather than actions and be sure to focus on and reinforce positive behaviours/efforts. It's also a good idea to get down to their level and speak to them calmly. Being calm and assertive in your approach helps your child to understand how you want them to behave.
Encouraging cooperation – Toddlers like to be able to exercise the right to make choices and feel in control. You can help with this by offering two choices, for example “We are going outside now, would you like to wear your shoes or your gumboots”. When & Then statements also work well with young children, especially if you consistently apply them. An example would be “when you put your hat on, then we can go outside to play”. Keep the statement simple and encourage your child to complete the task so that they can move on to what they want to enjoy.
Finally, toddlers can make a mess with remarkable efficiency, it's great to have different activities available to them, like painting, sandy buckets, or play dough. If you have the space and the weather is fine moving these activities outside can make it easier for you both to make mess with reckless abandon! These experiences and plenty of other fun and messy activities are embedded in our programs at Oakdowns Early Learning Centre on a daily basis.
Please contact us if you would like to arrange for a tour of our beautiful centre, or to discuss these and other helpful tips to help you manage your toddler's behaviour.