Parenting Your Toddler

Posted May 15, 2017

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Summary

  • Introduce healthy habits
  • Use positive discipline
  • Follow through with consequences

At times you’ll marvel at the new skills your toddler is learning. Other times you’ll wonder if he is trying to set a record for using the word “no” the most times in a single day. This stage of development can be both thrilling and exasperating. Toddlers like to do things themselves but may not yet have the ability to succeed—or to cope with the frustration of failing. Be prepared for tantrums. Try to stay positive and calm in every interaction with your toddler. Keep things light and enjoy the excitement of living life fresh again through the eyes of your little one.

Introduce healthy habits

Start your toddler on a lifetime of healthy habits by setting a foundation of nutritious eating, physical activity, and limited screen time.

  • Give him water and plain milk instead of sugary drinks.
  • Let her choose from a selection of healthy foods. Children this age tend to become picky eaters.

They’re not growing as fast as when they were babies and don’t need as much food. Keep trying new foods; it might take time for your toddler to learn to like them.

  • Limit screen time. Don’t offer any screen time if your child is younger than 2.
  • Encourage his natural tendency to run, kick, climb, and jump.

Use positive discipline

The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word for learning. As a parent, you are your child’s most important teacher. Your influence and guidance will help her learn how to get along in the world.

  • Focus on controlling yourself rather than your toddler.
  • Try to keep your sense of humor. A little bit of silliness can stop an oncoming tantrum in its tracks.
  • It can also lower your own rising blood pressure.
  • Don't ask questions that require a yes or no answer because chances are he will say “no.” Instead, offer a choice: “Would you like to wear the blue shirt or the red one?”
  • Redirect her attention when you sense a tantrum coming on.
  • If he refuses to do something that needs to be done—such as get in the car for day care or help you clean up his toys—try humor, songs, silliness, and games. “The tickle monster is coming to tickle you into the car seat.” Or, “let’s see if we can get all of these toys put away before we get to the end of this song.”
  • Save your “no’s” for the important things so your toddler doesn’t learn to ignore them. Instead of saying “no,” redirect her behavior.

Follow through with consequences

Some consequences happen naturally (If you throw your book in a puddle, it will be ruined and you won’t have the book anymore). Others are the result of rules: Dad says if you hit your friend, playtime is over. And still other consequences are positive rewards for good behavior: Mom says “thank you” when you bring the plate to the sink after dinner. Here are some ways to use discipline and consequences:

  • Make sure the consequence follows the behavior. Toddlers have short attention spans and need immediate consequences to make the connection with the behavior.
  • Make sure negative consequences relate to the behavior. If he isn’t playing nicely at the playground, the consequence will be to leave.
  • Follow through with both positive and negative consequences every time. Consistency and predictability will help her learn rules and encourage good behavior.
  • Reward the behavior you want rather than call attention to the behavior you don’t want. Say, “I love it when you walk so nicely beside me.” Or, “Thank you for helping me to put away your toys without me asking.”
  • Always explain a consequence to your toddler by pointing out the behavior that led to it: “Good job putting your toys away! Now we have time to play a game!” or “We had to leave the playground because you threw rocks after I asked you to stop. Someone might get hurt if you throw rocks.”
  • Be consistent by responding to your child’s behavior in the same way every time. He will learn the rules faster if your expectations are consistent.
By Sharron Luttrell, Military OneSource. Used with permission.
Source: “Developmental Milestones,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/; “Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/consequences/index.html; “Toddler,” Healthy Children, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/default.aspx

Summary

  • Introduce healthy habits
  • Use positive discipline
  • Follow through with consequences

At times you’ll marvel at the new skills your toddler is learning. Other times you’ll wonder if he is trying to set a record for using the word “no” the most times in a single day. This stage of development can be both thrilling and exasperating. Toddlers like to do things themselves but may not yet have the ability to succeed—or to cope with the frustration of failing. Be prepared for tantrums. Try to stay positive and calm in every interaction with your toddler. Keep things light and enjoy the excitement of living life fresh again through the eyes of your little one.

Introduce healthy habits

Start your toddler on a lifetime of healthy habits by setting a foundation of nutritious eating, physical activity, and limited screen time.

  • Give him water and plain milk instead of sugary drinks.
  • Let her choose from a selection of healthy foods. Children this age tend to become picky eaters.

They’re not growing as fast as when they were babies and don’t need as much food. Keep trying new foods; it might take time for your toddler to learn to like them.

  • Limit screen time. Don’t offer any screen time if your child is younger than 2.
  • Encourage his natural tendency to run, kick, climb, and jump.

Use positive discipline

The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word for learning. As a parent, you are your child’s most important teacher. Your influence and guidance will help her learn how to get along in the world.

  • Focus on controlling yourself rather than your toddler.
  • Try to keep your sense of humor. A little bit of silliness can stop an oncoming tantrum in its tracks.
  • It can also lower your own rising blood pressure.
  • Don't ask questions that require a yes or no answer because chances are he will say “no.” Instead, offer a choice: “Would you like to wear the blue shirt or the red one?”
  • Redirect her attention when you sense a tantrum coming on.
  • If he refuses to do something that needs to be done—such as get in the car for day care or help you clean up his toys—try humor, songs, silliness, and games. “The tickle monster is coming to tickle you into the car seat.” Or, “let’s see if we can get all of these toys put away before we get to the end of this song.”
  • Save your “no’s” for the important things so your toddler doesn’t learn to ignore them. Instead of saying “no,” redirect her behavior.

Follow through with consequences

Some consequences happen naturally (If you throw your book in a puddle, it will be ruined and you won’t have the book anymore). Others are the result of rules: Dad says if you hit your friend, playtime is over. And still other consequences are positive rewards for good behavior: Mom says “thank you” when you bring the plate to the sink after dinner. Here are some ways to use discipline and consequences:

  • Make sure the consequence follows the behavior. Toddlers have short attention spans and need immediate consequences to make the connection with the behavior.
  • Make sure negative consequences relate to the behavior. If he isn’t playing nicely at the playground, the consequence will be to leave.
  • Follow through with both positive and negative consequences every time. Consistency and predictability will help her learn rules and encourage good behavior.
  • Reward the behavior you want rather than call attention to the behavior you don’t want. Say, “I love it when you walk so nicely beside me.” Or, “Thank you for helping me to put away your toys without me asking.”
  • Always explain a consequence to your toddler by pointing out the behavior that led to it: “Good job putting your toys away! Now we have time to play a game!” or “We had to leave the playground because you threw rocks after I asked you to stop. Someone might get hurt if you throw rocks.”
  • Be consistent by responding to your child’s behavior in the same way every time. He will learn the rules faster if your expectations are consistent.
By Sharron Luttrell, Military OneSource. Used with permission.
Source: “Developmental Milestones,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/; “Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/consequences/index.html; “Toddler,” Healthy Children, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/default.aspx

Summary

  • Introduce healthy habits
  • Use positive discipline
  • Follow through with consequences

At times you’ll marvel at the new skills your toddler is learning. Other times you’ll wonder if he is trying to set a record for using the word “no” the most times in a single day. This stage of development can be both thrilling and exasperating. Toddlers like to do things themselves but may not yet have the ability to succeed—or to cope with the frustration of failing. Be prepared for tantrums. Try to stay positive and calm in every interaction with your toddler. Keep things light and enjoy the excitement of living life fresh again through the eyes of your little one.

Introduce healthy habits

Start your toddler on a lifetime of healthy habits by setting a foundation of nutritious eating, physical activity, and limited screen time.

  • Give him water and plain milk instead of sugary drinks.
  • Let her choose from a selection of healthy foods. Children this age tend to become picky eaters.

They’re not growing as fast as when they were babies and don’t need as much food. Keep trying new foods; it might take time for your toddler to learn to like them.

  • Limit screen time. Don’t offer any screen time if your child is younger than 2.
  • Encourage his natural tendency to run, kick, climb, and jump.

Use positive discipline

The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word for learning. As a parent, you are your child’s most important teacher. Your influence and guidance will help her learn how to get along in the world.

  • Focus on controlling yourself rather than your toddler.
  • Try to keep your sense of humor. A little bit of silliness can stop an oncoming tantrum in its tracks.
  • It can also lower your own rising blood pressure.
  • Don't ask questions that require a yes or no answer because chances are he will say “no.” Instead, offer a choice: “Would you like to wear the blue shirt or the red one?”
  • Redirect her attention when you sense a tantrum coming on.
  • If he refuses to do something that needs to be done—such as get in the car for day care or help you clean up his toys—try humor, songs, silliness, and games. “The tickle monster is coming to tickle you into the car seat.” Or, “let’s see if we can get all of these toys put away before we get to the end of this song.”
  • Save your “no’s” for the important things so your toddler doesn’t learn to ignore them. Instead of saying “no,” redirect her behavior.

Follow through with consequences

Some consequences happen naturally (If you throw your book in a puddle, it will be ruined and you won’t have the book anymore). Others are the result of rules: Dad says if you hit your friend, playtime is over. And still other consequences are positive rewards for good behavior: Mom says “thank you” when you bring the plate to the sink after dinner. Here are some ways to use discipline and consequences:

  • Make sure the consequence follows the behavior. Toddlers have short attention spans and need immediate consequences to make the connection with the behavior.
  • Make sure negative consequences relate to the behavior. If he isn’t playing nicely at the playground, the consequence will be to leave.
  • Follow through with both positive and negative consequences every time. Consistency and predictability will help her learn rules and encourage good behavior.
  • Reward the behavior you want rather than call attention to the behavior you don’t want. Say, “I love it when you walk so nicely beside me.” Or, “Thank you for helping me to put away your toys without me asking.”
  • Always explain a consequence to your toddler by pointing out the behavior that led to it: “Good job putting your toys away! Now we have time to play a game!” or “We had to leave the playground because you threw rocks after I asked you to stop. Someone might get hurt if you throw rocks.”
  • Be consistent by responding to your child’s behavior in the same way every time. He will learn the rules faster if your expectations are consistent.
By Sharron Luttrell, Military OneSource. Used with permission.
Source: “Developmental Milestones,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/; “Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/consequences/index.html; “Toddler,” Healthy Children, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/default.aspx

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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