Last week was my daughter's 2 year wellness check with her pediatrician. This appointment was a little different than the ones we have had in the past. Well, for one, no shots.. thank GOD! But, second, a good portion of this appointment was centered around toddler behaviors. Her pediatrician asked about tantrums, sleeping, eating etc. I told her about the occasional playdate where my daughter didn't want to share her toys and the occasional whining and sass that comes along with a 2 year old.
I always knew this behavior was normal, so I don't think too much about it. I was just planning to weather the storm. But I soon realized in this meeting that there are certain things I can do to address these funny little toddler behaviors.
Our pediatrician started to tell us that by acknowledging the behavior I am actually reinforcing it. She went on to say that the best way to eliminate these behaviors are actually to totally ignore them, all of them (except, of course when you need to intervene in a conflict with another child). She did say that, when you start to ignore the unwanted behaviors, it will get Worse, before it gets better as the child will try to test to see if you REALLY mean what you say.
On the flip side, when the child displays positive behaviors, Im supposed to offer lots of praises and compliments, "I like the way you are talking to me", "that is good sharing" etc, etc.
This is a great alternative to punishment and lecture.