Your toddler thrives best when rules are ap­plied con­sis­tently and clearly ex­plained to her.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - AGE BY STAGE 2 YEARS -

Why she is angry You won’t buy her the toy she wants Why she is angry Her play-date friend won’t share his book with her

They sud­denly start ght­ing. You know your toddler’s friend is in the wrong, but you don’t want your child to treat her guest this way.

She won’t lis­ten to rea­son, how­ever. You now have two dis­tressed, angry tykes.

What you can do Set out rules for play dates clearly.

Why she is angry You refuse to let her have a snack be­fore meal­time

You are get­ting her din­ner ready when she asks for a bis­cuit. It will af­fect her ap­petite so you refuse, but she be­comes worked up.

You get ag­i­tated and, soon, a scream­ing match en­sues

Why she is angry

Why that’s bet­ter Those early warn­ings help your child pre­pare emo­tion­ally for the im­pend­ing change in her sched­ule.

What you can do Give her a ve-minute “tidy-up” warn­ing, then a one-minute warn­ing, then tell her it’s time to tidy her toys.

With each warn­ing, ad­vise her to put at least one toy away. If she still re­fuses when time is up, hold your ground, don’t give in and en­sure that she stops play­ing. Your child is hav­ing so much fun that she de­lib­er­ately ig­nores your re­quest.

Even­tu­ally, when you have lost all pa­tience, you an­grily re­move her toy. She ex­plodes with rage, de­ter­mined to do what she wants. You ask her to tidy her toys but she wants to con­tinue play­ing Tell your daugh­ter that she must share her toys, that she must never shout at or hit her guest, and that she should speak to you if she be­comes un­happy.

The mo­ment you see your child get­ting ag­i­tated, re­mind her of the rules and re­solve the dis­agree­ment be­fore it es­ca­lates. Why that’s bet­ter Your two-year-old’s “I want” de­mands di­min­ish when she un­der­stands that there are rules gov­ern­ing play dates. You take your girl to the toy store as a spe­cial treat. She chooses one that you are happy with – and some­thing else too. You say “no”, and she lies on the oor scream­ing.

What you can do Warn her in ad­vance that she can pick only one toy, which you must like as well. Tell her that if she mis­be­haves, she won’t get any­thing.

If she be­comes angry while at the store, re­mind her again. If she doesn’t calm down im­me­di­ately, leave. Why that’s bet­ter Ad­vance warn­ing of pun­ish­ment for mis­be­haviour lets her know what lies ahead, and gives her a chance to con­trol her emo­tions.

What you can do Have a con­sis­tent pol­icy about snacks be­tween meals and fol­low it through. If they should only be eaten at set times, make that clear to your child.

She’ll chal­lenge this some­times, but stick to your plan and she will learn.

Why that’s bet­ter Your toddler thrives best when rules are ap­plied con­sis­tently and clearly ex­plained to her.

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