Common Concerns during the Toddler Period
So how can a parent deal with the uncooperative “NO” response of their toddler? A parents request can still be followed with their toddler’s negativistic behavior. The following ways are effective in dealing with this behavior.
- Rephrase the way your request is delivered – Make a statement rather than a question. Yes or No questions asked from the child would definitely lead to a “no” response. For instance, a mother asked the toddler “Are you ready to sleep?” In this case, the mother really means, “It’s time to sleep. Let’s go to your room.” If the mother asks the first question given the toddler would really respond “no.” However, if the mother makes a statement (the second request), the negative response is avoided.
- Offer simple secondary choices. Never offer choices such as “Do you want to sleep or not?” Because naturally the toddler will answer no to that. So how do we offer simple choices without compromising the main request of asking the toddler to sleep? Always remember that “NO” is never allowed for the major task which is in this case sleeping. The mother can do this by saying, “It’s bedtime now” but then says “Do you want to wear your green or blue pajamas when sleeping?” In this case, the “No” response to the major task (sleeping) is eliminated and the toddler has been able to decide (green or blue pajamas).
The word discipline means setting rules or road signs so they know what is expected of them. Punishment on the other hand, is the consequence that results from the breakdown in discipline. Parents should begin to instill discipline early in life to promote safety to the child and others. Two general rules are important to follow in disciplining a toddler:
- Parents need to be CONSISTENT.
- Rules are leaned best if the correct behavior is praised rather than punishing a wrong behavior.
Toddlers have the fear of being separated from their parents which is known as the separation anxiety. This anxiety begins as early as 6 months of age and persists throughout the preschool period. Because of this, toddlers have difficulty accepting being away from their parent or primary caregiver when being hospitalized or being enrolled in a day care center. Separation anxiety is overwhelming to toddlers and the following ways help during these situations:
- Saying goodbye firmly.
- Explain to the child that the mother or primary caregiver will be there when the child wakes up in the morning or before the classes end.
- Leave the area.
Prolonging goodbyes only lead to more crying. It is not advisable that parents sneaked out of the room to prevent crying because it can strengthen the fear of abandonment.
Temper tantrums are very common during the toddler period. To deal with this behavior the following measures should be done:
- Check the place for safety.
- Ignore the temper tantrums. For some leaving the child in a safe place (supervised) cools down the temper tantrums.
- Never give rewards or bribes to the toddler. Toddlers tend to repeat their temper tantrum the next time when they want something if the parents give in to their request when they are crying and screaming.
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