Encouraging your child to share
- Stay close when your toddler’s playing with friends, so if an argument about toys looks like it’s brewing you’re ready to step in and avert any scenes.
- Make a special place where precious belongings not for sharing with others can be kept and respect that not everything has to be shared.
- Pick names out of a hat to see who goes first.
- Be a good role model. Let others choose a TV programme, the first biscuit, share a seat.
- Be understanding. Tell your tot that you see it is difficult, but you’re pleased she’s tried to share.
Coping with toddler tantrums
- Don’t panic! If your little one is losing his cool, you need to stay calm. Tantrums can be scary for toddlers too.
- Look for signs. Spot the triggers and take action before things escalate. If a squabble is brewing, distract him with a toy or activity.
- Distance yourself. If it’s safe to do so, walk away to another room so you don’t give the tantrum attention.
- Don’t offer logic. Reasoning gives attention, and is pointless as your tot isn’t listening or able to consider anyone else’s view.
- Sing his praises. Making lots of fuss for good behaviour you want your toddler to repeat will encourage him.
Control toddler aggression
- Clarify. Tell your toddler it’s his behaviour you don’t like, not him personally.
- Stay close. Then you can spot potential triggers for angry flare-ups, step in early and divert attention, before any trouble starts.
- Demonstrate. Try not to show your own aggression. Little ones learn more by example than long-winded explanations.
- Talk it over. Make sure the victim is OK and when things are calmer, have a chat about what’s acceptable behaviour towards others.
- Sing his praises. When he curbs his aggression, smile and clap – especially in front of other people.
Controlling the TV in your home
- Reassess. Consider how your family watches TV, as that will help you see where changes may be needed.
- Let it rest. Having periods in the day where there is no background noise from TVs helps children develop good attention and listening skills.
- Talk about it. Enjoying a TV programme with your toddler is a nice way for you both to learn new things.
- Keep it short. Encourage your toddler to choose a short programme to watch. Around 20 minutes a day seems to be most suitable for children over 2.
- Find an alternative. Offer other activities so your toddler knows TV isn’t the only entertainment.
- See both sides. Once children feel they are understood, the heat is taken out of the situation.
- Don’t ‘blame’. Avoid trying to work out who did what to who, it prolongs the agony. Move on to options for making up instead.
- Lighten the mood. Do something funny like dancing around, singing or blowing bubbles if things have gone too far.
- Demonstrate. Try to be first to offer to wait a turn, play with something else or gently give something back.
- Go with it. Arguments are normal, and good practice for resolving difficulties, which we all struggle with.
Sleep solutions once the clocks go back
- Gently does it. Try to move your toddler’s routine forward by around 15 minutes a day every few days in the week around the clock change.
- Chill! Have a quiet week to allow for a little rest time as routines settle.
- Don’t start new routines. Just until your little one is settled again.
- Have an early night. Toddlers waking up even earlier in the mornings can be exhausting and get you down, so try going to bed a bit earlier yourself.
- Blackout blinds. If you haven’t already invested in blackout blinds, do so, as they really can help in prolonging sleep.
- Teaching good manners and social skills to your toddler
- 8 ways to stop your toddler biting
- How to deal with toddler misbehaviour
Dealing with sibling rivalry
- Don’t over react. It’s normal for toddlers to squabble and excellent practice for playground negotiation.
- Try and remain neutral, as you’ll rarely know the full story.
- Focus on fixing bickering, not getting to the bottom of how it all began.
- Allow each child a box where her special things are kept, and make sure everyone respects that it’s hers alone, while everything else is for sharing.
- If possible, try to give each of your children a few minutes of your undivided attention.
When to watch out for a temper tantrum
- Doing chores like shopping can spark a negative mood. Have toys on hand to amuse your little one.
- Late afternoon, when you’re both tired is often when a temper can flare. Have quiet time together to chill out.
- When you’ve got company. Your tot may play up for attention.
- Being too busy. Even fun new experiences can overload her senses.
- Playdates. They’re fun, but difficult at first for toddlers. Keep them short so your child stays contented.
Coping with an overactive toddler
- Keep a routine. Active toddlers like to know what to expect and so do you.
- Get out every day. The chance to run around a park, whatever the weather, uses energy and can be fun.
- Avoid dramas when out shopping by keeping trips short and making sure neither of you get too tired or hungry.
- Give positive attention. Playing and chatting with your toddler makes it easier to stick to important boundaries.
- Start with small realistic goals. Encourage concentration and gradually build it up.
How to help a shy toddler
- Let her observe. Often she just needs time to work out the rules before she joins in.
- Encourage role play with dolls and teddies to practise interacting.
- Comment on her nice smile, friendly voice, generous sharing or happy laugh when she does join in.
- Don’t label her as shy. Instead, make a point of letting her hear you comment on how friendly she is.
- Be positive. Showing her how to make friends by smiling and saying hello will be more effective in the long run.