Parents seeking positive parenting advice on how to discipline their toddler are not alone. Everywhere you look, you will find a toddler in a power struggle with good parenting. In fact, we have come up with personalized names for the ages. We have terrible twos, horrific threes and rebellious teenagers! Right? Isn’t that startling? Are we setting ourselves up for failure in these time periods?
Perhaps a few simple changes in your parenting style approach would make all the difference between parenting and effective parenting? What if you test out a few new ideas? Could it be possible that positive parenting could result from just a few easy ideas?
When I found out about the effective techniques based upon the idea of positive parenting solutions instead of negative discipline, it was a gigantic, life changing moment for my children and for me. I raised my four children as a single mom, and although I understood that I was a pretty cool mom, I was beginning to have more and more power struggles as they grew a little older and I couldn’t get used to it. If you are parenting toddlers right now, know that the power struggles of today will develop quietly and seductively over a period of 7-10 years, and then, trust me, time-outs, yelling and informing them what not to do won’t work anymore! Being the complete boss used to work. Now they are outgrowing that. Now we need a new plan.
Here are 3 effective, positive parenting solutions Thomas and I have been choosing because they work for us. You can use these effective parenting strategies today with your toddler to see an automatic positive shift in results. Both of us were astounded to see how simple these ideas are to implement.
1. Pre-frame with your toddler before every activity.
Have a 2-5 minute conversation with your toddler. Yes, they can understand you. Tell them what you are doing and what you expect from them in the store, while at the same time, actually hear what is important to your toddler. “When we are in the store today, little Timmy, we will be there for just a small bit of time. I’m sure that you want to play with this toy (or have a snack or a cookie or whatever it is that is desirable to your toddler), and when you are quiet, calm and well-behaved in the store, you will have earned getting to play with your favorite toy.” Stick to your guns. You have set the terms and you can stick to them!
2. Offer positive praise to your child as often as you can.
It is generally so obvious when your child acts up in the store. They are noisy and, of course, it can be embarrassing. Your child is very intelligent and when they do well and are not recognized for it, they will act out to get attention from you. As soon as you think of it, on your way in the car or as you walk into the store, you can say, “Little Timmy, look at how well you are doing. You are being quiet and cooperative. Well, aren’t you just the best toddler God ever created! Keep it up and you will earn yourself a cookie.” Continue with positive praise all the way out to the car after the event.
3. Operate in a yes mode with your toddler vs. a no, no, no mode.
In most cases, a baby will hear the word no hundreds of times a day more often than they will hear the word yes. When you catch your toddler misbehaving, simply tell them what they can do: “Little Timmy, people don’t play in the garbage can. It’s really dirty. Come play in the pots and pans drawer, play with these blocks, or draw Mommy a picture. Out of those three things, what would you like to do?”
From the three options, would you prefer red socks, blue socks or green socks? Which do you pick, grapes, strawberries or watermelon? Would you like to eat at the kitchen table, at the dining room table or at the picnic table out back? From any of their preference from these three choices, you get a yes mode answer! They get a choice and you get to say yes! Always operate in a yes mode!You set up the parameters and they make the choice and you get to say yes!