2. BABY PROOF YOUR ENVIRONMENT.
Set up the environment to maximize the passive
controls on the toddler's behavior (for example,
cabinet locks, gates, other physical controls
which do not require your active real-time intervention).
This allows you to minimize the negative interactions
required to keep the toddler and your belongings
3. THE FEWER WORDS THE BETTER. Long
explanations used in correcting behavior are lost
on toddlers. If anything, the extra time and attention
may act to reward the very behavior you're trying
4. MINIMIZE YELLING. Toddlers will
become immune to yelling and it makes you feel
out of control.
5. PICK YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY,
AND WIN THEM. It makes no sense to try to correct
every little detail of a toddler's behavior. Your
toddler has more energy to commit to his behavior
than you do. If you do decide a particular behavior
is unacceptable, then stick to your guns. If you
give in, the message to the toddler is that he
can get what he wants with extra persistence.
6. TO DEAL WITH TANTRUMS, PROTECT
AND BACK OFF. When the inevitable tantrum occurs,
make sure your toddler isn't in a place where
he can get hurt, and then back off and let him
get over it by himself if possible. Don't reward
the tantrum with attention, and don't give in
to the demand which prompted it. Your toddler
needs to develop a skill we all need - bringing
his emotions under control by himself.
7. REMEMBER: IT DOESN'T LAST FOREVER.
The toddler years do eventually come to an end.
Of course, then you have future delights of parenthood
facing you, such as the teenage years - but that's
for another time....
1-2-3 Magic, Thomas Phelan, 2nd Rev Edition (1996).
Clinical psychologist Phelan's simple, effective
child management program enables parents to discipline
their children, ages 2-12, by using a system of
counting and time-outs.
Raymond Seligson, MD is a pediatrician with Pediatric
Associates of Branford and a father of a teenage