Friday, February 10, 2017

Toddler Turmoil: Terrible Threes or Frightening Fours?

The toddler years are an exciting time for parents and their kids, but they can also be some of the most challenging times as well. Children who are three or four often go through frustrating phases in their lives that can test the patience of even the most tolerant parent. However, knowing proactive, positive ways to reach your child during these difficult times will make life a lot easier for both of you.


A few tips that help:

  • Minimizing the yelling
  • Understanding what's going on
  • Know how to redirect
  • Set clear, simple boundaries
  • Don't fear timeouts
  • Be consistent with your child


Don't Yell So Much

Even though yelling seems like a good way to let out frustration, it is less likely to bring out better behavior. Too much yelling and other harsh measures can have a negative impact on how your child's brain develops. Taking a minute to calm down before disciplining your child can work wonders.


Understand What's Going On

If you're attuned to your child's needs, you can likely guess what may be going on at any given time. Understand why your child is acting out can help you take steps to resolve the problem. In many cases, better awareness helps you prevent problems before they start.


Redirect Your Child in Creative Ways

Redirecting a child in a positive way can help eliminate a lot of bad behavior. Try reading to a child who is whining or get a child who is being pushy or grabbing to do some physical activity. Redirection always needs to be done in a loving way.


Know How to Set Boundaries

All children need boundaries, but they need to be simple for better retention. Remind your child of these "house rules" every day. Make sure you praise your child when he or she sticks to the rules. Understand that this is an age where your child is likely to test out how much they can get away with.


Sometimes Everyone Needs a Timeout

A timeout, possibly one minute for each year, can distract your child from bad behavior and give them time to think. If the bad behavior focuses on a specific toy, consider giving your child a timeout from using the toy. Make sure your child has access to the toilet and doesn't have access to toys or games.


Consistency is Key

Make sure you address bad behavior consistently if you don't want it to continue. Don't expect your child to follow the rules one day and let them off the next. Above all, use positive methods to correct bad behavior.


At Mission Valley Montessori, our teachers work with children starting at the toddler phase. They continue throughout their elementary years, learning through play-based activities that are self-guided and self-directed.  To learn how to help your toddler through this challenging phase, contact us today to see the positive impact Montessori education can have on your child.

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