10 ways to help your toddler behave

Bring out their best side with these foolproof tactics


Faced with a 2 year old hellbent on getting his own way, there is no time to wimp out, however much you want to. Try some of these foolproof tactics.

  • BE POSITIVE Praise! Praise! Praise! Lavish attention on him for the slightest thing, like putting his toys away. He’ll thrive on it and it’ll make you feel good.
  • HAVE STRUCTURE Toddlers like to know what’s going on. Stick to a routine of bath, milk, story and bed, then he’ll know what to expect.
  • SET BOUNDARIES Although boundary pushing is his favourite sport, having them makes him feel safe and secure.
  • BE CONSISTENT It may be hard, but you want him to learn the consequences of his actions. For example, if you say, ‘If you hit that boy again, we’ll have to leave,’ you have to stick to it, even if you’re enjoying a cuppa and gossip with your friends. Sorry!
  • BE REALISTIC Your toddler’s just started learning what’s expected of him and you’re both bound to make mistakes along the way.
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE Make it clear what you want him to do. For example, ‘Put your toys away before you have your bath.’ Do not start discussions or, even worse, bicker with him. Well, not too often anyway.
  • CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES Turn a blind eye to little things and save saying ‘no’ for when it’s really important.
  • BE A GOOD EXAMPLE Toddlers learn how to behave by copying you. If you want her to be kind and considerate, that’s how you’ve got to be.
  • GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK We all have days when we feel like a rubbish mum. But it just makes you human and your toddler adores you anyway.
  • KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR Yes, toddlers can push you to your limits, but they’re fun, so enjoy them.

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