If you have, or have had, a toddler in the household, you will feel the pain of it like it is an open wound. Toddlers, and I mean anywhere from one till three or four years old, go through phases where they simply will not listen, or if they do listen, they won’t follow your instructions.
So how do you get a toddler to listen? Well, first, I think you have to understand why your toddler doesn’t listen. The growth phase is a really funny but frustrating one.
They want to do everything on their own, they want to exercise free choice, but they aren’t quite capable of it yet, and that frustrates them. They throw tantrums, scream and cry.
One of our moms at Organic Baby Food Shop had a toddler that was so jealous of her new baby sister that she looked her mother in the eyes, dropped her pants and pooped on the floor with a look saying ‘tell me off, I dare you!”. Which mommy didn’t of course, she cleaned it up and gave her toddler a hug and said “Next time let’s try to do it in the potty ok? Mommy will help you even if she is in the middle of feeding your sister. You are important and you are loved”.
So, it’s important to try to understand their feelings. Are they angry because they simply don’t want to obey? Will forcing them gain you anything? Is there a way that you can encourage them with a treat or reward if they do what you request?
An Organic Baby Food Shopcrunchy mommy successfully toilet trained her one year old daughter by having the potty near the lounge room and enforcing a ‘do a poop in the potty and get a treat’. Simple. Yes ok, it’s a little bit naughty. But gosh did it work fast! The incentive of a simple, repeated, regular reward can’t be ignored.
Also think about your own life, do you feel like you’re always lacking time? You’re repeating things over and over? You get to that 3rd time I’ve said this, high pitched screaming roar that you hate? Well toddlers also have a lot to process, so, how to communicate with a toddler?
The answer is: short words, even one word. Teeth. Hair. Plates. Yes we have been brought up in a polite world (hopefully) where we say “Please may I ask you to go and brush your teeth now?” And that is lovely! But sometimes, if a toddler isn’t focused, or tired, or overwhelmed, it gets lost in translation. So try shortening your requests.
Make your toddler feel important. If there is a problem, try to get them to think of a way to resolve it. Ran out of their favorite ice cream? Ask them well, where do we get ice cream and is the store open now? Could we call mommy or daddy to bring some home for you?
Having a good communication with a toddler is really important because they are growing so rapidly, and they want to be acknowledged, accepted and valued.
Try to stay calm and keep the peace. Ok, this can be hard, You can get really frustrated sometimes. But if you can, try to set an example that we resolve things by thinking and talking nicely and by agreeing. Don’t let it turn into a screaming match because likely, your toddler will win, or cry, or lose, and all of those are pretty upsetting outcomes.
These are just a few ideas from our crunchy moms. We hope it helps you a bit. We also really love the no#1 bestselling book: How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and How to Listen so Kids Will Talk.
Don’t be afraid to talk to other parents, daycare helpers, teachers and family to get advice. Sharing always helps even if it is just to get it off your chest.
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