Any toddler tips to share?

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  • Any toddler tips to share?
  • Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Had a bugger of a morning trying to get an almost 2 years old blobby jr out the door to nursery. He’s a great kid… but some things can be such a pain, e.g. getting changed, brushing teeth.

    So thought I’d call on the vast experience of STW dads. What are your top toddler management tips?

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    sticker charts and rewards.

    Or rather than stickers, we did marbles in a jar for the same effect, except you can also take marbles out of the jar. When it gets to the agreed number or up to the line, reward earned.

    johndoh
    Member

    Tips?

    Don’t expect it to get much easier.

    natrix
    Member

    Stickers and reward charts.

    It’s incredible what a toddler will do to get a sticker ๐Ÿ˜€

    clubber
    Member

    Stickers and rewards for good behaviour and the naughty step for bad.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Praise lots of praise and whoops when they do something.

    Other than that enjoy being a parent having awkward kids is all part of it.

    Premier Icon cloudnine
    Subscriber

    Hot poker and a cattle prod

    johndoh
    Member

    Something that we were told about but have never done – get a jar, put a marble in every time they do something good, take one out when they are bad. When (if) it reaches the top, they get a reward.

    And one that we *DO* do – choose your battles. If everything you ask them to do turns into a war of wills and shouting, then it isn’t enjoyable. The theory being is that then they get a better understanding of when they have overstepped. For example, if they say they don’t want any more breakfast then say ‘fine, get down, we’ll get ready now’ – they don’t need to eat it all so don’t make it a big deal.

    And negative psychology can work – if they don’t get dressed say ‘fine, you can go to nursery in your pyjamas then – but no-one else will be in their pyjamas’.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Other than that enjoy being a parent having awkward kids is all part of it.

    I think this is probably true. And from talking to some other parents I know it could be a lot worse, hardly ever have any bedtime trouble and he sleeps well!

    Praise lots of praise and whoops when they do something.

    Do a lot of this and it does help. Though with some things he really digs his heels in.

    Not sure he’d get the jar thing yet, maybe in a few months time.

    Hot poker and a cattle prod

    Sometimes tempting!

    And yes, picking battles is a good one. Though hard when short of time and needing to get him out the door.

    Premier Icon Doh1Nut
    Subscriber

    Give him a choice of clothes to wear – change the argument from “am I going to get changed” into “what am I going to get changed into”
    works every time

    “Do you want to blue T-shirt or Red T-shirt?”
    “Pirate”
    “Blue or Red?”
    “Dinasaur”
    “BLUE OR RED?!!”
    “Buzz Lightyear”

    johndoh
    Member

    Not sure he’d get the jar thing yet, maybe in a few months time.

    He would if he gets to put them in I am sure.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Talk and listen to him, and work with him. From his point of view, you’re trying to force him to do something that’s wrong for some reason or other. His reasoning will be completely different to yours but that doesn’t mean you can simply overrule it. Explain why they have to do something and what’ll happen if they don’t. And give hugs when they get upset about it.

    Find a way to make the situation work for him. Toddlers are people, with by our standards a weird outlook on life. Every one is different, and don’t assume that there’s a standard way of doing things that’ll work. If there were, we’d have figured it out by now, everyone would know and we’d all be fine ๐Ÿ™‚

    Give him a choice of clothes to wear – change the argument from “am I going to get changed” into “what am I going to get changed into”

    Good idea – giving people a say in a process empowers them and makes them feel better about everything – toddlers and adults. My youngest can be stubborn until you give her something to control herself, like what clothes to wear etc.

    Oh and beware of too much praise – when I was a kid I hated people making a fuss over me like that.

    Also beware of too much praise.

    mogrim
    Member

    When you can give them the illusion of control – take out two t-shirts, let them choose which.

    Stickers on a big chart on the fridge. When you get 5, ice cream for pudding. Or whatever.

    Set a daily routine and stick to it.

    Never make threats or promises you can’t/won’t keep.

    And be prepared to accept that some days it just won’t work.

    johndoh
    Member

    Every one is different

    The same one can be different!

    EG: Last night our two were racing to be first out of the bath. Child One was first out then started to bawl. Why? Because she wanted to be second out.

    Err…..

    johndoh
    Member

    Never make threats or promises you can’t/won’t keep.

    God yes. They learn that one quickly.

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    nothing new to add… naughty step for naughty boys, straight away, for a minute or two, no messing about. but also rewards for good boys, straight away. carrot and stick, basically. ‘pick your battles’ is a good one, too.

    we’re not quite at the marbles/jar stage yet, either, but I’m down with that idea, teach the lad that doing good stuff equals rewards BUT not necessarily immediately.

    mogrim
    Member

    Talk and listen to him, and work with him. From his point of view, you’re trying to force him to do something that’s wrong for some reason or other. His reasoning will be completely different to yours but that doesn’t mean you can simply overrule it.

    Yes you can, it’s part of what being a parent is about. While it’s definitely worth listening to their reasoning, at the end of the day the kid’s two, and can’t go to school in their pyjamas or have ice cream everyday for dinner.

    johndoh
    Member

    The naughty step rule – one minute per year I believe.

    At 4 (nearly 5) our two are barely ever on it now though. In fact, I am seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel.

    clubber
    Member

    Yep, 1 min per year is about right though my daughter (she’s two now but was 1.5 then) once spent 40 minutes on it when refusing to say sorry. Wonder where she got her stubbornness from…

    She does now knows that the naughty step isn’t an idle threat and will start to behave when it’s mentioned now. I think that the difficult thing now is to not overuse it or things get too negative.

    johndoh
    Member

    Yes you can, it’s part of what being a parent is about. While it’s definitely worth listening to their reasoning, at the end of the day the kid’s two, and can’t go to school in their pyjamas or have ice cream everyday for dinner.

    I think you take Molgrip’s advice too literally – I think he means we should listen to our kids. When push comes to shove yes we *can* over-rule, but we shouldn’t *automatically* over-rule – we should listen to them. And get down to their eye level too.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    When you can give them the illusion of control – take out two t-shirts, let them choose which.

    Haha, we do this sort of thing, just because he picks it doesn’t mean he’ll let us put it on him!

    Talk and listen to him, and work with him.

    Yes you can, it’s part of what being a parent is about. While it’s definitely worth listening to their reasoning, at the end of the day the kid’s two, and can’t go to school in their pyjamas or have ice cream everyday for dinner.

    Molgrips, wise words. Mogrim, this is true. I think we have a good understanding with him but it’s really the things he needs to do that he just doesn’t want to do that are most painful. Thankfully there aren’t very many of them.

    traildog
    Member

    It gets easier when they develop a bit more reasoning and the whole rewards for good/threats for bad works more. Early on it can just end up developing into a battle of wills and that just never worked with our little one.

    Patience is the number one thing. I’m quite patient, but I used to lose it with ours. I’ve learnt it more, and it’s got a lot easier as well. They live in a world of their own, and time constraints is not something they understand.

    Just keep the routine, keep yourself sane, and it’ll all come together and get easier.

    happyrider
    Member

    Some things can be made into a game, teeth brushing was a real battle until I started asking to see her teeth and brushed my finger over them making a scratchy noise saying oh no they are all dirty!

    Then after she brushed them I would do the same and make a squeaky noise and lots of praise about what a good tooth brushing she did, go and show mummy how squeaky your teeth are!

    As above though, sometimes it just doesn’t work and the stress isn’t worth it.

    She went through a phase of not wanting to get dressed, naughty step was employed a few times which was like an instant behaviour modification (After 3 minutes of sitting there) and mostly she lets us get her clothes on, or we make a game of seeing if she can do it herself if there is time…

    All good fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

    mogrim
    Member

    I think you take Molgrip’s advice too literally – I think he means we should listen to our kids. When push comes to shove yes we *can* over-rule, but we shouldn’t *automatically* over-rule – we should listen to them. And get down to their eye level too.

    That’s more or less what I wanted to say; whether that’s what molgrips meant is another thing!

    happyrider
    Member

    Oh and the choosing which colour knickers etc to wear was great until she started choosing blue so we would give her blue to put on, then she would cry wanting the pink ones!

    She gets what she’s given now and if there is a meltdown it’s forgotten about within a few minutes.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Patience is the number one thing.

    I usually have loads, but we now also have a 4 week old baby so lack of sleep is diminishing my patience reserves ๐Ÿ™

    happyrider, shall see if something similar works with the teeth brushing.

    Hoping in a few more months when his language/reasoning is a bit better that more of these types of things will work.

    mogrim
    Member

    Molgrips, wise words. Mogrim, this is true. I think we have a good understanding with him but it’s really the things he needs to do that he just doesn’t want to do that are most painful. Thankfully there aren’t very many of them.

    He’s two, it happens. There’s a reason they’re called the “terrible twos”, you probably thought your little angel would be the exception? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Realistically there will be days when you just have to put your foot down, and if that means bundling a screaming kid into the car so be it. It happens.

    They do get better, and then (assuming my 14 year old is normal) they get worse again. Something to look forward to.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    some things can be such a pain, e.g. getting changed, brushing teeth.

    Step 1: watch this, laugh, and understand you are far from alone..

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0XiOGyjoAM[/video]

    Step 2: lots of good advice above. Routine, sticker charts, illusion of control, pick your battles, naughty step. We use pretty much all of that in varying degrees. Still get plenty of tantrums mind you – but ultimately she knows we don’t give in to them and they won’t help her get her way.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    you probably thought your little angel would be the exception?

    Haha, have enough friends with kids to know we were unlikely to be that lucky. On the whole though I think we’ve had it pretty easy with no 1 so far (especially when I read some of the toddler/baby sleeping problem threads on here!)

    we’re getting good results using two intermediaries. Harry the guinea pig (Mummy’s hand) and nice fish (daddy’s hand). Oddly talking to these creations is ok. i think she does know its us – just breaks the conflict.

    stickers still good.

    TM

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Step 1: watch this, laugh, and understand you are far from alone..

    Thanks. In tears watching that, not great at a client site! The zip thing is very true. I almost lose it sometimes trying to do up the bloody zip on the growbag when he’s rolling around. Why why why put it right under their chins?!

    twiglet_monster, you may have to video that and post it on here!

    jamiea
    Member

    Our daughter is 22 months and has been testing boundaries for the last couple of months. Stuff like wanting to take soft toys into the bath, thumping / pushing people etc. We just stand firm, and the tears only last a minute or two until you can distract her.

    We’ve used the bottom of the stairs as a naughty step a couple of times after biting, she put herself there after doing something very innocuous at the weekend! She’s also gotten very used to saying sorry, especially when bumping into her teddies!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    happyrider
    Member

    We found a good one for hitting. Rather than react and tell her off for hitting (which resulted in her copying what we were saying which sounded aweful!) we started showing her what she could do as an alternative.

    “Instead of hitting mummy and daddy you should be stroking our faces.” then hold her hand and stroke your face with it. Worked a treat, no more hitting and lots of getting her face really close to ours and stroking saying “helooooooooooo”

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    I was wondering what age to start the naughty step thing. Our boy is 23 months and we were thinking it was a little early.

    Also I’m not sure I want to do the naughty step for just being difficult, think I’d reserve it for proper naughty, which to be fair he rarely is.

    “Instead of hitting mummy and daddy you should be stroking our faces.” then hold her hand and stroke your face with it. Worked a treat, no more hitting and lots of getting her face really close to ours and stroking saying “helooooooooooo”

    We were on that very early as we have a dog and two cats. He now knows to be gentle with them and very rarely does he do anything but stroke them.

    gonzy
    Member

    all of the above work.
    we’ve yet to start the stickers/reward chart with our nearly 2 year old…but playing good cop /bad cop always works. good cop then does the explaining why bad cop is being bad which is always followed by a sorry and a hug from the little madam.
    naughty step used to work with her brother and we’ve used it on her a few times to good effect…its not a step but we make her stand in the corner holding her ears….we actually use the step for her brother as a timeout spot.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    its not a step but we make her stand in the corner

    Good advice! Not everywhere has a step, but most places have a corner.

    johndoh
    Member

    I live in a lighthouse with a lift.

    jamiea
    Member

    but playing good cop /bad cop always works

    Do you both play the same role each time? I’m not sure one of us would want to be labeled as the bad cop- but changing roles might confuse little one?!?

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Do you both play the same role each time? I’m not sure one of us would want to be labeled as the bad cop- but changing roles might confuse little one?!?

    I’m guessing it depends on who’s first at the crime scene ๐Ÿ™‚

    gonzy
    Member

    Do you both play the same role each time?

    we try to alternate so the kids dont always see one of us as the constantly angry shouty one

    I’m guessing it depends on who’s first at the crime scene

    this is the most common scenario…but it depends on the crime…

    the standing in the corner whilst holding ears always works for us…our 6 year old son has always been disciplined in this way…for added effect they face towards the wall and it doesent even have to be a corner…just stand them facing any wall and leave them there….this is followed by an explanation for said reprimand from us or us asking him does he understand why he was told to hold his ears.

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