Inside: How to get your toddler to cooperate without yelling, time-outs, threats and spanking
Toddlers develop a sense of identity as they grow, and they crave a sense of autonomy.
This means they now have a mind of their own, and want to feel empowered in everything that they do.
Toddlers are egocentric by nature, they demand instant gratification and this is exactly how their brains work at this age.
Their favourite words are “NO! NOW! MINE!”
Good news and bad news about toddlers
The bad news is there isn’t really much we can do to change their brains.
The good news though is we can still fulfill their need for independence, while at the same time, getting them to comply.
So how do we discipline our toddler?
Connect with empathy.
Instead of “Time to leave the playground now!” (You will most likely receive a “NO!” answer)
Try: “I see you have so much fun playing at the slides! You do wish to play the slides all night long isn’t it! (connect with empathy)
“The sky is getting dark though.”
Likely, your toddler will still continue to play.
Instead of shouting/threatening/punishing: “If you don’t go now, you will not get your chocolate ice cream tomorrow!” (which will lead to more crying and tantrums)
Try: empathise further:
“You are so upset that you can stay on. You love the slides so much! We have to go or we can’t be back in time for dinner. Come over, let me help with the sadness.” (Be firm with limits)
Give hugs, kisses, and assurance: “Shall we come back to play again, tomorrow or the day after?”
Other ways to connect with your toddler
Fill up their love tank by speaking their love languages.
Spend 1 on 1 special time with your toddler and give him your full attention. Studies have shown that quality time spent with your children lead to positive outcomes.
Play and read together!
Connection is key
When toddlers feel connected to us, they are less oppositional and more open to our influence. That’s when its easier to convince them without any verbal or physical punishment.