Here at The Babydrop we encourage and promote “positive parenting and positive discipline.” From our own experience with toddlers at home and at the crèche, we know that they can be extremely demanding and challenging to deal with at times! Experience shows that the implementation of a consistent approach to behaviour management at home and in the nursery setting results in a more positive outcome in terms of toddler behaviour.
All children at home and in a day care environment test boundaries. This is a normal part of growing up, learning and becoming an independent person. Toddlers may seem to test these boundaries on a more regular basis, which can be both frustrating and challenging for parents and carers. This is not them being naughty or disobedient; it is the only way in which they can learn what the limits to their behaviour are.
The first thing to remember is that you are not alone! It is normal for toddlers to get frustrated about things and have temper tantrums. Whilst it may be embarrassing and stressful for you (especially when you are out and about in public) try to keep these positive discipline tips in mind:
- You are the adult! Stay calm and compose yourself. Take a breath and mentally count to 5 before you respond.
- Have clear simple rules and limits and consistently apply them.
- Try to keep your use of “no” to a minimum – use expressions such as “later” or “soon” where possible instead.
- Acknowledge how your toddler is feeling e.g. “I know that you are cross/angry/sad.”
- Praise good behaviour which you want to encourage and try to turn a blind eye to minor misdemeanours.
- Smacking is not promoted as a form of punishment and may make behaviour and tantrums worse and can also make your child afraid of you.
Tantrums are exacerbated when children are tired and/or hungry. Try to have a routine in place, which everyone understands and follows. Make sure that you plan ahead for emergencies by having some snacks and drinks with you when you are out and about in case mealtimes become delayed. Whilst difficult, ignoring a toddler tantrum can be very effective as it gives them less incentive for it to be repeated.
If you are finding your toddler’s behaviour too hard to cope with, then don’t be afraid to get some help. We are always here to support parents and carers and our staff are always happy to answer any behaviour-related questions. For some third party advice, the Wandsworth Family Information Service has some good resources including parenting workshops: