Friday, January 13, 2012

Toddler Behaviours

I have been reading Jane Nelsen recently and I wanted to share the new wealth of knowledge from her amazing book, "Positive Discipline The First Three Years."

I am enjoying the chapter on understanding age-appropriate behaviour. She talks about knowing the difference between a child who is misbehaving and one who is exploring his world. It often gets frustrating for a child when their parents get in the way of their explorations.

I read about these two boys in the book: 
  • One boy who is allowed to 'make kitchen messes as the helper' and is allowed to work beside dad with his own smaller tools and help with projects. This will cause a mess or a slow a project down, but it does a very more important thing: it fosters trust and builds confidence within the child.
  • The other boy was stifled by his parents and often told to 'go play' or 'go watch tv' while they do the 'work and cooking' around the house. He was getting 'in they way and making a mess' often. He was brushed aside, told no or yelled at frequently. This teaches the child that it is safer to not have any big ideas or be helpful. It would take this child a longer time to feel safe to be curious or exploratory again.
When everyone is so busy all the time, we forget to slow down and foster our children's curiosity and 'teach' them how to help and be a part of the family. Sometimes it seems easier to have them out from under foot. But we would be doing such a disservice to our children if we didn't include them. Even at 17 months, you can include your babies to cook, clean, work, garden and play with you.

Having your children involved teaches:
  • your child to believe in themselves and their abilities
  • them learn how to problem solve and ask questions
  • that family works together and plays together
  • it's okay to make mistakes

For further toddler behaviour information check out this site for some quick and dirty questions and answers:

Good Luck with your little ones... remember, I'd would love to hear your comments and questions.

Some examples.
If you want your toddlers to clean up after themselves, make it fun...

  • pretend your an animal, like a lion, and your 'hunting' for toys to eat and bring back to the 'cave.'
  • put on a timer and have a 'race' to see how can put all the leggo in the bin before the buzzer sounds.
  • learn your colours at the same time or numbers and have them put only the 'red toys' away and then only the 'green toys' or only 5 toys and then only 4 toys and then 3 so on...
  • good ol' fashion bribery works too... a sticker or a treat for after you clean up, or you can see your show after your toys are in the box... lots of praise after helps too!

If you want your toddler to work in the garden, shed, kitchen with parents supervision...

  • have a small tool set and table beside yours so you work side by side
  • have them do the mixing, pouring or stirring in the kitchen, after your measure
  • have them put all the cutlery away after the dishwasher is done, fun sorting game too!
  • give them a part of the yard to dig holes for 'plants' 'seed's near you and show them how
  • let them put the seeds in, water, dig, whatever
  • have them paint with their 'water based paints' on their 'wodden project beside yours

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