As a mother, I always worry about teaching my kid to do the right thing. But to do that, the little one needs to follow too. So how to make the little apple listen and follow. The first thing that comes to mind is, set an example. Yes, that is first and foremost. But toddlers are just not yet wired to follow in the age group of 2-3, especially if they are in a bad mood. So how do we make them listen, understand and follow?
It’s a multi-step process.
- First, make sure that the kid is not throwing a tantrum. If he or she is, distract them with something
- If distraction technique doesn’t work, let them take their time to finish up their act. Do not react. Use a poker face and ignore
- Once the tantrum is over, or the tantrum is not in picture, bend down at their level and gently ask them, while looking in their eyes, to do what you would like them to. Mostly this should work
- If the above doesn’t work, very gently tell them, while staying in the same position “ I will count to five and then you have to do it. If you don’t, then mommy will have to show you how to do it” or simply start doing yourself and ask the kiddo for help
- Still no movement, well them, show them how to do it. Hold their hand gently and make them do what they are supposed to do. As an example, cleaning the room and putting toys in their place. None of the above worked? Hold their hand gently and make them pick toys and put in their own place. After one or two toys have been picked, they will themselves start doing it
- In the end, show them their hard work, give a big hug, and load with kisses
The above strategy works everytime, without shooting up my blood pressure. Teaches a calm behavior to the child and in the end, it’s fun to laugh rather than be mad.
Give it a shot!!!
(PS: The strategy has been adapted from Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules: Your 5-Step Guide to Shaping Proper Behavior)