You can make things worse by focusing on unwanted behaviour. Too much attention to unwanted behaviour teaches children that misbehaving is one way of getting the attention they want and need
It is best to ignore little things or, at the very least, treat them lightly. Intervene only when behaviour is really unacceptable or unsafe. This is particularly important with small children. For example, it is often best to ignore messes, grizzling, demanding behaviour and bad moods.
If the child uses ‘rude’ words act in an uninterested way or say:
• I am not interested in that.
• We don’t use those words in our house.
Avoid giving children negative messages all the time. It makes them feel that they can never get it right – their self-esteem suffers and they may feel angry and resentful towards you.
Everyone has faults, makes mistakes and forgets things sometimes. Let it pass unless it is serious or ongoing. Treat it lightly, the first time at least – a gentle reminder is enough.
• Hey, you didn’t put your bike away last night.
Distraction 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...
Make co-operation fun Children are more likely to co-operate and behave well if it is fun to do so. Help children start and finish things Let’s see how much of this you can do before I get back. Use singing, rhymes and rhythm Use tunes you know or make up your own. • We’re putting...
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