How to survive the “No!” period of your child’s terrible two’s stage.
As children grow, they understand that their actions matter, and they can make things happen. This sense of self permits them to make a mark on the earth and proclaim themselves in a way they couldn’t when they were a baby. At the age of 2 years children experience the most, rapid brain development of their lives a humongous 700 new neural connections is formed every second.” As your child’s functional independence increases, they understand that they are no longer a literal addition or extension of you, but individual people with a mind and will of their own. They are the terrific/tremendous twos, however, due to limited language, they choose not to listen. Few strategies that will support your 2-year-old to respond to instruction are
- Aim to get rid of whatever is occupying your child’s attention or the so-called distractions before trying to make a request or give directions. It is important to establish eye contact just to make sure you have their full attention. “Please pause your play for a moment so, I can talk to you”
- Certain situations warrant you to tell, and not ask them When you ask your child to do something, you suggest there is an option or choice to say no. Just say “Can you please finish your breakfast? or can you the pickup the toys?” With such questioning any child will say “No!” Instead, say, “Please finish your breakfast now or pick up the toys now.”
- Offer a timed notice… 5-minute rule works, whenever possible. When as an adult you need a desired outcome rather saying, “tidy up right now,” when your child is in the middle of playing, say, “In five minutes it will be time to stop playing and it’ll be tidy uptime.” Then, when those five minutes have passed, say, “It is time to stop playing and tidy up now.” This is a polite way to provide your child time to make to adjust and move to a new activity
- Give one set of instructions for children between 1-2 years old especially children with attention issues. Use only small one-step instructions, whereas older children can handle 3 to 4 step instructions or a list.
- Ask your child to repeat your directions out loud Often you will have a child says “ok” or “yes” but has no idea what you said.
You can help your child further by:
- Keeping order and routine. This makes children feel much more safe and secure, same schedule every day, means having a consistent nap times, mealtimes, and bedtimes along with the time to just be free to just run around and enjoy
- Being consistent when you say “no hitting” “no biting” the first time your child hits or bites another child during play. You similarly need to say, “no hitting” and or “no biting” the second, third, and fourth and the nth time your child does it.
- Avoid stressful situations and probable meltdown situations with a little advance planning, setting an egg timer for five minutes and saying that when it rings it’s time to X. Understand what the triggers are and manage them before they arise.
- Stay calm it is the best advise especially if you’re in the middle of perceiving your child will throw a tantrum, losing control will quickly escalate an already stressful situation.
- Recognise the time to give in Pick your fights. Certain things in a toddler’s life are non-negotiable, but many other matters aren’t worth the stress of an argument and should not be a clash of wills.
- Give Positive Reinforcement. Celebrate your child for being good. Reward good and acceptable behaviour. When your child follows your directions provide positive consequences to reinforce good behaviour. Applause and complement the compliance by saying something like, “Well done clearing-up your room, right when I asked you to.”
- Eye Contact, following through and being consistent are key to your child’s listening.
Remember if we as parents are consistent and regularly point follow boundaries and rules, there are going to be more good days than bad days.
Mrs. Samina Khanyari
Jumeirah International Nurseries (JINS)