My toddler (1 to 2 year child) does not listen to me. What do I do?

Parentree-editors 2009-07-06 08:24:41

Indian parents often say "my child does not listen to me". This remark is heard irrespective of the age of the child and particularly when the child ignores the parent who is saying "No, no" and continues doing whatever they feel like. So what should a parent do to avoid or mitigate this situation. Read on for some tips about what to do.

Your child is not the only one not listening to you

Virtually every parent goes through this feeling. As your child grows, she is learning to assert her independence and it is also her way of trying to find out what the boundaries are. It is a normal phase of development and it is not a unique situation. You should not feel that you are doing a bad job. Think about how you can help your child understand what the boundaries are.

They maybe too engrossed

Children have the same problems as us parents. Doesn't it appear that every day our husband/wife is asking us "Did you hear what I said?" and we are found mumbling "Sorry, I did not hear that". This affects toddlers the same way it does you. To toddlers many of the things they are doing are new and they tend to be engrossed and fascinated by what is going on. They just may not hear you. So the first thing you may have to do is get close to your little child and ensure that he has heard you clearly. Make sure your child is looking at you when you repeat the instruction.

Use the right tone

Use a strong insistent tone when you need your child to do something.  it must be clear and different from your normal tone. You do not have to shout or plead. Speak in a way that strongly conveys what you want to say. Of course, do say "please" but do not adopt a pleading tone.

Be persistent, don't take "NO" for an answer

Do not give up on what you are asking your child to do. Be persistent. If you ask her to stop hitting the dining table with a spoon, and she does not stop, step foward and take the spoon away from her gently and say "You can have the spoon back when you learn how to use it". If you tell her, "Go to the bathroom for a shower" and she does not come, you can stand there and point the way to the bathroom or you can carry her there yourself.

Be clear, be simple

Children of this age cannot process complex instructions. If you are trying to get them to stop doing something, a simple "NO" in an insistent tone maybe enough to get you started. If you are trying to get them to do something, make it simple and break it down step by step.  Give them the instruction for the first step, wait for it to be done, then give them the second instruction and so on.

Make it a "you and me" thing

When you want your toddler to do something, speak with "we" rather than "you". Instead of saying, "I need you to take a shower", say "Let us go and see how we can get you cleaned up in the shower". And start taking the steps necessary to get things done rather than just wait for your toddler to make the first move. Often, this is an indication to your child that this is what needs to be done and she will cooperate.

Distract, rather than deny

Watch yourself to make sure you do not say NO too often. It can get very tiring for both you and your child. Often, a technique to distract the child maybe a better than asking him to stop what he is doing.

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