>Being a good parent to a toddler

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A toddler girl cryingImage via Wikipedia

Toddlers are hard little customers to please. They're independent enough to know what they want (and what they don't), but still lack a lot of communication and social skills. Because of this many parents find themselves baffled as to how to deal with their tot.

Here are some things I do to make managing Brennan a little easier:
  • Plenty of play time around the house - I use this time to teach him what's ok to play with and what's not. When he touches something he shouldn't, he gets told no. If he keeps on, he gets his hand pulled away and no repeated once again. If he continues, he gets moved away from the area and once again told no. Usually a return means he can't figure out anything else to do so then is the time to offer up an optional thing to play with. Over time he's gradually getting better at behaving when he's out around the house. I should also add that with no he gets a simple explanation of why I'm saying no.
  • Temper tantrums - I don't tolerate temper tantrums. He gets told no, and if he continues, he gets a time out. I tell him that since he's upset I will leave him alone for a while and come back when he's feeling better. Once he's calmed down I come back.
  • Simple conversations - Brennan always does better if you converse with him, even if you don't understand what he's saying and vice versa. He appreciates the effort.
  • I encourage him to explore - As long as it's safe, I allow Brennan to explore to his heart's content.
  • I'm consistant - Yes stays yes and no stays no.
  • I offer him choices - Even though he can't always express his decision, I still allow him the chance to make it whenever possible.
  • I treat him like a part of the crowd - When there are people around, Brennan is included in the interaction.
  • I reward him - Good behavior goes rewarded.
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