It happens at the age of 2. Children start to understand that they are a unique person separate from you. With this realization though comes many conflicts. It’s a difficult balance to strike but you must be both firm and flexible at once. Not sure how to do that? Here are some simple tips for helping your toddler to listen better.
Get on their level and look into their eyes
Yelling is hardly effective, especially from the other side of the room. Yet, you can’t allow your child to run around the house like that, can you? So walk over to him and get up close. Get down on his level and look him right in the eyes. He will get the message very quickly that what you’re saying is important and he needs to listen and obey it.
Let them make appropriate choices
You need to go and you need to go now but your 2 year old is throwing a fit about putting on her shoes. You can freak out too, or give her a choice. Instead of telling her to put those shoes on now, ask her if she wants to wear her pink sneakers or her white sandals. It works so well, you’ll never have another fight about shoes again.
Use simple terms and stay positively focused
Children at this age are just starting to understand simple directions. Don’t shout out ten different things to them. Give them one command at a time, and spin it positively. For example, instead of saying “Don’t run” say “Walk!”
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Positive and negative consequences should be known well in advance. So if you tell your child you will take her for ice cream if she finishes her homework and she follows through, you must follow through with your promise. This is important with negatives too. Warn your child that if he throws his toy car at his brother again, you will take the toy away. Always follow through because if you don’t your children will think you never mean anything that you say.
Keep calm and move forward
It’s not easy to deal with resistant behavior. However, if you learn to respond to it appropriately, things will change positively. Be calm and consistent when you work with your children and avoid negativity. By doing this, your child will begin to show you more of those positive behaviors that you want them to demonstrate.
Toddlerhood doesn’t last forever, so remember to cherish these moments with your little one. In the blink of an eye, she’ll be waving goodbye to you as you drop her off at college, so make these years really count.