One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is managing toddlers’ temper tantrums. There are many different approaches parents can use, but it begins with teaching toddlers how to follow rules and expectations at home. 

Research has shown that cooperation and good listening skills are not things that small children innately know how to do. Rather, it’s a skill set learned from their environment as they grow up. It may seem easier said than done, but parents can help to instill these skills in their youngsters. 

We all know that at times, little kids can be stubborn and complex. These tips for parenting toddlers will come in handy as you work to positively reinforce and encourage cooperation and better behavior from your little one. 

Establish routines

Toddlers have a limited attention span, so when we change things up too much, this can overload their little brains as they struggle to keep track or understand what comes next. This is where the beauty of routines comes in. 

Toddlers respond best when there are established routines in their lives. When small children know what is going to happen throughout their day, their behavior is more likely to be in line with expectations, and you’re less likely to encounter resistance. You can start by keeping things consistent in your home so that your toddler can develop an understanding of patterns. For example, children’s bedtime routines should be consistent. This will help you avoid stressful nightly battles each time bedtime rolls around. 

Avoid repeating yourself

Toddlers can be stubborn from time to time. Little ones can be especially difficult when they refuse to do what we ask of them. However, it’s important not to let that frustration get the best of you because toddlers are not likely to respond well if you’re too stern and repetitive.

Resist the urge to repeat yourself or get angry when a toddler does not listen. The key is patience and consistency. You cannot expect them to do everything right away. Try to stick to basic instructions that you won’t need to repeat often, such as “put on your shoes” or “brush your teeth”. When you see your child follow your instructions, be sure to reward them with positive attention. 

Get down on their level

Eye contact is vital when it comes to ensuring that you have your toddler’s attention. If you want your child to listen to what you’re saying, you need to establish eye contact by bending down so that you’re face-to-face, so that he or she can see the expression in your eyes and hear what you are saying. This is an effective way to build a more direct connection so that your child will be more compelled to listen and do as you ask. 

Make reading a habit

Although some younger toddlers might not seem old enough for a reading time yet, it’s never too early to start. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to help foster your toddler’s listening skills. It’s also an excellent way to teach your little one the sounds that makeup words. As they master sounds, it will also help them learn how to sound out new ones too!

Also, reading stories to your little one can help enhance his or her attention span. When children hear stories, they can anticipate events and scenarios that are coming next. When they have a better and longer attention span, it becomes easier to hold their attention during those times when you need them to put on their “listening ears”. 

Avoid yelling

Yelling does nothing more than creating a stressful home environment. Yelling is never the solution when it comes to getting your child to cooperate. Instead of screaming at the top of your lungs, try to tone down your voice. Get quieter, not louder. Your child is more likely to listen and pay closer attention to what you’re saying when you keep your voice down.

Use positive reinforcement

Another effective tip for parents of toddlers is to use positive reinforcement whenever possible. Instead of focusing solely on each time your toddler misbehaves, try to focus more on the times your child follows your instructions and displays positive behavior. You can recognize toddlers’ positive behaviors and consider giving them rewards at times. This is an effective way to effectively influence their actions and help them adhere to expectations and rules at home. 

Raising a toddler can feel like a roller coaster ride sometimes. But with the help of these tips for parenting toddlers, you can encourage better behavior and cooperation from your little one. 

For more parenting tips and resources, feel free to visit Cornerstone Learning Center.