Terrible twos? Terrifying threes? Furious Fours?
Hands up if you’re going through any of these at the moment?
Refusing to eat, get in the car, leave the house…worse, even go to bed at night!
Read on for three quick tips to help get a handle on managing these special preschool years like the cool, calm, in-control parent that you are!
Think of the C.I.A
For our toddlers, it is crucial to always remember to ‘Connect before you correct!’. To be able to get our toddlers to give their undivided attention to them you need to be able to connect to their ‘frequency’.
Rather than yelling across the hall, “Bedtime!! Go and brush your teeth!”, “I SAID! Go and brush your teeth!!!!”
Imagine a replay of, you walking to whatever they are doing, get to their eye level by kneeling or crouching down and put your hand around their shoulder or on their back and say;
“Hey my dear, I know you are busy but it’s bedtime now….”
Our children are always being told what to do. Yes, rightfully so too! They are after all, still children. However, everyone enjoys feeling important and being involved and in control so much less our young toddler children!
After you’ve connected with them, rather than stating what they are meant to do, provide them with a choice! Give them an option which leads them to the right destination ie. Bedtime!
“…would you rather me hold your hand up into the shower or did you want to go into the bathroom yourself? Your choice!”
“I know it’s not fun leaving your toys…but it’s bedtime now, we can pause our play and continue tomorrow, would you like to help me choose where to place these toys for tomorrow? Let’s choose them now and head up! What do you think?”
“Thanks for making your choice! Do you want to help me choose your clothes for tomorrow? Do you want to wear the red Tshirt or blue dinosaur shirt?”
Act on it
Remember, this might not always ‘work’ because children will always be just that… children! And that is OK! It is also totally fine and very loving for you to state your boundary and act on it!
“I know you’re feeling sad that we can’t play more….you do have a choice of which pyjamas you want to wear before bed though want to help me choose?”
“Ok, looks like you’re struggling to make the choice, it is bedtime now so let me help you choose OK. I will help you up the stairs for a shower now alright?”
“It’s OK to be angry and sad, I will help you choose your pyjamas too as you are struggling to choose tonight!”
Remember, ‘a loving parent’ does not necessarily mean you give in to every whim of your child. We all know that bedtime and a deep restful night is good for our kids, so it is up to us to establish that habit and hold that boundary! Keep practising the C.I.A and become a cool, calm and confident parent and enjoy parenting like how it should be! If your sleep struggles go beyond boundaries and sticking to them though, give us a call for a FREE 20 minute discovery call and find out how we can help you!