Last week I mentioned that I had had the good fortune of spending some time with a wonderful lady called Mel Hayde.
For those who didn’t read that post, Mel is the author of two wonderful books called Terrific Toddlers one and two, and is one of the most gentle, humble people I have ever met. She came up to Darwin for no other reason than to help people with their kids.
Not to make money or sell her books, just bless people.
Over the course of her flying visit, I got to not only spend quality one on one time with her, but also listen to her speak at a couple of different events. I got so much out of these visits, that I really just wanted to share with you some of the pearls of wisdom I gleaned.
Have a plan
We’ve all heard ‘fail to plan, and you plan to fail,’ but we often don’t apply that to our parenting. Often we are so frustrated because of behaviours in our children, but we actually haven’t worked on a positive plan to eliminate those behaviours. Rather than just reacting in the moment, it is much more constructive for everyone, if we plan moments in our day to teach our children the moral attitudes we would like to.
Mel recommends using every moment as a teaching tool, and it’s not hard.
- Sitting at the table waiting for food is a great time to encourage patience.
- Quality time playing together can be used to model kindness.
- Watching the TV quietly is self control.
- Craft activities promote concentration.
And so on….
Basically, whatever you want impart to your toddlers (or older), plan for it it in the day, and you will find things easier.
How many times?
Children know when you mean business. They know from the look in your eyes, the volume and that vein popping out on your forehead.
And that’s the point they will take you to every time.
Most of us, inadvertently teach our children to accept our instruction on the third, fourth, or fifth command, at which point we are becoming absolutely fed up with them.
It’s much wiser to just teach them to do it the first time they are asked.
And yes. It is possible. 🙂
So long as you’re consistent in making sure that they follow through, and expect to be obeyed, they will rise to the expectations.
The rule of two.
This was one of the best things I learned over the weekend. Some kids (actually probably most), love nothing more than to win. It’s all about the power struggle.
We’ve all seen, (or had), little ones that keep going back and touching the same thing over and over and over again, usually cause they know it will get a reaction. In these situations often what happens is an adult standing over the forbidden object, ready to stop the mischief maker at the first sign of trouble, only to get into a massive power struggle where both parent and child are determined to win.
Mel recommends the rule of two.
In other words stop them twice, and then remove the object or the child. This simple act puts you back in control, and tells the child who is boss.
For someone who is more than determined to win these kind of fights with my children (and then I wonder where they get it from!), this was an incredible eye opener. I’ve been using it since, and it’s so easy!
Certain behaviors like bed time shenanigans are just done for attention. It will soon lose it’s appeal, if no attention is given.
With a child that’s repeatedly climbing out of bed, don’t engage. Simply put them back to bed without a word.
I’ve tried this on Ava and she hates it. It is the quickest way to get her to go to sleep, if she knows I’m not going to come in and have a conversation with her. Even if the conversation is me lecturing her on staying in bed.
There is so much more I can share, but that would take a book, not a blog post, so instead I’m giving some away! I’ve got Mel’s approval to give away a copy of Terrific Toddlers One and Terrrific Toddlers 2, Building Happy Healthy Hearts to one reader.
I’m not going to make this hard. In fact, I’m just going to give it to whoever I think needs it most! So if that’s you, leave me a comment saying why, or you can pop me an email if you need to.