Encouraging the behaviours you want– some suggestions-2


It is normal for a toddler to refuse to do what adults want – it’s a normal part of their development. Getting angry with young children doesn’t work – in fact, it can reinforce unwanted behaviour and lead to tantrums. Both you and your child will end up feeling worse. Rather than focusing on the unwanted behaviour, try distracting small children. Most young children are relatively easily distracted – sometimes by quite simple actions.

By nature, small children want their own way, can’t control their feelings and don’t understand about consequences. They can become very angry if they don’t get what they want. Toddlers have to learn over time about pleasing others and how to manage their behaviour and feelings.

Focus on something else

• Look Peter – look at the big truck out the window.

Exchange activities

• No, you can’t have that (glass jar) but have this one (coloured plastic one).

• I need that (the soap powder) – you have this (the peg basket)

Move right away

• We are going to run down to the letterbox and see if there is any mail.

• Let’s go and see what Mary is up to next door.

You can help distract the child by picking them up, giving them a cuddle or doing something they enjoy, such as dancing with them or singing to them. The child may be expecting an angry parent and the fact that you are not angry helps to distract the child. Sometimes you will have to simply take control of a situation and gently but firmly move the child away from danger, or from a situation where they are hurting someone or destroying property. The reason for doing this is to keep the child or someone else safe, or to take care of the child, never to punish or hurt the child. Smacking and hitting are never needed when keeping a child-safe or caring for a child

to be continued..
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