Saturday, January 2, 2010

Be directive in your instructions...especially with toddlers

Have I mentioned my daughter is a drama queen? One minute it's "yucky blankets" as she kicks them off and the next minute (actually second!) she is crying because she wants the blankets on. I have several examples of this that occur throughout our day, but I will spare you the details...I really think she is really trying to control me, and sad to say, I have fallen for it too many times.

One thing I learned while watching the Toddler Transition DVD and listening to the Mom's Notes presentation on First Time Obedience, is that with toddlers you need to be directive in your instructions. That means instead of saying "Anna, do you want your covers on or off?" you just say "Anna, mommy is putting your covers on" and don't even give her an option.

This has now become an issue of first time obedience and Anna has quickly learned that when mommy says "Anna, I'm putting your covers on" or put them on her saying "leave your covers on" (remember my prior post on Don't Kick The Pink Elephant? -- notice I said 'leave your covers on' vs 'don't kick your covers off'...) and she kicks them off, she has disobeyed my instructions and consequences follow.

Do you notice you are giving your toddler too much freedom and making them wise in their own eyes by not being directive in your instructions with them? I've noticed it in my own home and now that I've been focusing on being more directive with her a lot of our power struggles are going away.

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