How to Talk to Toddlers so They Will Listen
There’s no easy answer to the question- How to Talk to Toddlers but show me a toddler who listens to everything you say and I won’t be impressed. Managing a toddler might be irritating sometimes (or many times 😉) but trust me you don’t want an ‘obedient’ child either.
All parents say that their toddlers are very stubborn and it’s tough to get them to do anything. I feel that all the children are strong willed by nature. It’s us who have the opportunity to mold this quality any way we want. We can break their wills or turn their strong headedness into a valuable quality that will help them succeed later in life.
Most of us take a child’s strong will as a challenge and assume a fighting stance. This way of approaching things elicits even more stubborn responses or may result in a meek child who gets easily influenced by others’ opinions.
After scouring the internet and reading quite a few parenting books, I have found a few effective ideas on How to Talk to Kids. The basic premise is that we ourselves shouldn’t turn into a child when dealing with children. This is the most important trick and my husband keeps reminding me this. It’s easy to lose our cool and retaliate in the same way as the toddlers but it never helps. If anything, it makes things worse. So How to Talk to Toddlers then and get them to do things we want? Here are some ways-
How to Talk to Toddlers
1. Change Your Point of View-
See the world as the toddler sees it. This is one very good point suggested in my favourite Parenting Book- How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah P. Klein. Something that might seem irrelevant to you might be a big issue for your toddler. Their still-developing brains don’t understand a lot of things so there world is quite different from ours. A child who wants to eat cookies now won’t understand when you say that you will give it after dinner. They don’t have a strong sense of time. Once you start seeing things as they do, you will be able to understand them and empathize with them.
2. Set A Routine
The importance of having a set routine for the little ones can’t be emphasized enough. When the kids know that there is a certain way to go about things, they have little room for rebellion. Kids thrive on routines and they actually feel safe when they know what’s about to come. They look forward to things this way and in case they don’t want to brush their teeth one morning, you can remind them that you do this daily. Little kids are more understanding than we give them the credit for.
3. Give Choices-
Another way to have things your way while making kids feel that they are in control. For example, if your toddler likes to pick their own outfits, you pick two and ask them to pick one out of the available choices. They will feel independent and you will get what you want. As simple as that!
4. Don’t Punish-
I don’t know about other cultures but in India or more specifically where I come from, there was always more emphasis on punishment if the child didn’t do what parents or teachers wanted. Punishment severs your bond with the child. They start seeing the punisher as a threat rather than someone with their best interests in mind.
When faced with a threat, we have flight or fight response and a child will fight at least initially. After some time, they will simply stay away from you. It’s best to stay calm and let the child vent their emotions. You can put your point across after things have settled because then the child will be willing to listen and understand what you want to say.
5. Accept Them-
This point might seem ludicrous to you but it’s really very crucial. We love our children unconditionally but still when they do something that we don’t like, we resort to shaming them. This is a curveball for the child who trusts you wholeheartedly. You do need to stop your child from hurting that little baby in the park but do so without making them feel ashamed of themselves. They need the assurance that their parents are always there for them. This feeling of safety makes toddlers confident and their trust in you gets stronger. When a child trusts you, they are more likely to pay attention to what you are saying and alter their actions.
In a nutshell, you don’t want to change your toddler, you just want them to become confident individuals who can tackle life’s problems on their own as they grow up. These approaches of How to Talk to Toddlers will set the roadmap for that.
I am not an expert or the most understanding parent but I am trying to change my response regarding How to Talk to Children. Do you agree with the above points?
This blog post is a part of #LetsBlogWithPri campaign hosted by Prisha Lalwani from http://www.mummasaurus.com . I would like to thank Sneha from https://itsatwinningstory.wordpress.com for introducing me in the blog train and would like to introduce Isha Sharma. You can read her blog here.