During the toddler and preschool years the word, “No!” becomes a very powerful word. It derails the happy atmosphere, stops a quick exit on errands, means we scoop our little one off the floor in that shop and march out. They want an input. They want a choice.
As a parent you can allow for extra time for the No! We get all forceful and insistent. Neither of these work well overtime. Even we as parents need to practise what to do when we get that No. It’s hard to play with a child that insists on having things their way or you having it totally your way. Personal, social and emotional development is a crucial aspect of play. We need to be able to get along and well. This is the first of a two-part series.
Practice when you are calm and have a script
Think about what you will say when they are shouting and yelling at you. Replay times when you saw this or experienced this and work out what you could do differently and try it out.
Getting down to their level; looking them in the eye and smile. The smile is for you to calm down however brief. Watch how other people de-escalate their children and try it out.
Identify 2-3 activities at home to regularly give choices
Practise choice activities at home. Choose choices that you are happy with either option. Keep them simple. Children have very few choices so having the red counter or the blue counter when playing the board game may seem trivial to us but they don’t see it that way.
Choices like; clothes, food, activity, play.
- Scrambled eggs or cereal?
- Blue jeans or green trousers with Bob on the side?
- Pretend food or Dolls?