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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Positive Ways to Get Rid of Bad Behavior in Toddlers, by Emma Lawson

Every toddler misbehaves and every parent knows how hard it can be to stop them without losing patience, raising their voice and punishing them, with little effect. However, there are positive ways in which you can limit bad behavior, it just takes some learning and practice on both sides, writes Emma Lawson.


The most important thing is to remember that there are no bad kids, only bad behaviors. Kids need a loving connection, not threats, as it is well explained in the wonderful book by Dr. Laura Markham “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids”. Keeping this fact in mind, if you learn and apply some techniques, you will see quick progress. Here is what you can do.

1. Cover the basics

Toddlers tend to show negative behavior when their physical needs are not satisfied. They may simply be hungry or thirsty or tired. The first thing to do is to make sure these needs are met. Giving them a snack, a drink and letting them have a nap might solve all the problems. They might also need physical movement, fresh air or a bath. When we don’t feel comfortable in our body, we get nervous and so do our toddlers, only they act out expressing their discomfort, while we suppress.

2. Take them out into nature

Toddlers need to be physically active much more than we do, so providing them with a space to be free to run and jump is crucial. There is no better place for this than out in the open, in healthy natural surroundings. They connect with the environment in a natural way and there are many things they can explore and play with. They learn how real life works and it keeps them engaged and occupied. Man was not made to sit inside in front of TV, we are creatures of nature, and kids need their outside play time. They will also expend extra energy and release any stress and negative emotions.


3. Give them things to do

Children under five have a short attention span and can focus on something for up to 15 minutes. That means they need many more activities than we do in order not to get bored. We have to keep up with their pace the best we can. There is a wonderful educational method of Montessori which adjusts games and learning to the kids’ own pace of cognitive development without our interference. We just have to provide the correct learning tools, materials and games and they will pick them up when they are ready and move on to something else when they feel like it. Your job is to let them learn how to be independent learners and entertain themselves.

4. Set firm rules and be consistent

Our little troublemakers need to know what the rules are, so we should set simple but firm rules and stick to them. We should introduce appropriate punishments for breaking the rules, and apply them immediately after bad behavior happened. The kids will connect their behavior with unpleasant consequences and adjust their behavior. The trick is to be consistent and give them a lot of single word reminders and ask them questions instead of giving orders and making threats.

Bad behavior is stressful and draining both for parents and for kids, and making a bigger problem out of it than it initially was by adding our negative feelings into the mix will only make things worse. We should first check if their basic needs are covered, and if they are, we need to look for the underlying cause of bad behavior. The parents’ role in this is bigger than we think. What if the kid is only picking up on the negative vibe in the house? What if they are only absorbing our stress? What if we are not showing them enough love?

Thanks so much to Emma for reaching out and asking to write this for Dad's Diary! Really useful ideas here for parents like me! I especially support the idea that it's worth taking your children out into nature as my own son responds very well to this and often displays classic signs of cabin fever.

Emma is a teacher, a mum to two boys, and a regular contributor to High Style Life. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. You can follow Emma on Twitter here!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dictionary definition of toddler - #1

Have a toddler, they said. It'll be fun, they said. No. It's statistically proven that your sucker punch reflex speed will go up by 5000%. You'll be blocking like Bruce Lee in no time.

Dictionary definition of toddler - funny picture. will punch you and also be your BFF

If you also live with a toddler then I have good news for you, I set up a support group on Facebook 


Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Dirty Burger

Picture of child holding a dirty burger from Wimpy

Son, I owe you an apology. I bundled you in the car after our trip to Brean Leisure Park. You started whining about how you were hungry and wanted a drink of water.

I had to make a snap decision. In that moment I couldn't think of anywhere we could go to eat that would be easy to drive to. 

Tired and beleaguered as I was, I unbuckled your seat belt and gestured for you to follow me. 

We walked through the doors of the promised land. This is it, this is living, this is the British caravan holiday, apparently. Welcome to Wimpy, son.

I didn't even know the chain was still going but let me assure you, it's live and very much kicking in Brean.

I felt like one of those country dads who'd just masterminded his son and heir shooting a pheasant on his 300 acre estate - and then daubing his cheeks with its blood right after the unfortunate bird tumbled from the sky. "Good shot, Tarquin."

Only his first 'kill' was the dirtiest burger known to mankind: a Wimpy. 

£1.99 for a Cheeseburger? Surely this couldn't be that bad. The place was wall to wall full of Brits who all had the same sad look about them, staring into space at the shitty British weather smashing against the wall to wall windows, in droplets of misery.

The burger tasted more processed than an old school 35mm Kodak film. Not even a sorry looking gherkin or brown bit of lettuce to help us Taste The Difference. This was ketchup, orange cheese and the burger itself, that seemed to dissolve in the mouth upon contact with saliva. This ain't exactly Aberdeen Angus, son.

We ate in silence, peering around at the other miserable faces in there. It was as if everyone else was hating themselves too. If they'd done their Tripadvisor research more thoroughly they might have figured out that all roads in Brean lead to Rome...

The worst thing? He wolfed it down, and smiled the whole time like it was a new concoction from the hallowed kitchens of Heston Blumenthal.

Maybe he knew this was a rite of passage. A significant time in his life; his first dirty burger.

If you somehow enjoyed this twaddle, then join my exclusive unicorn appreciation society on Facebook.