Thursday, August 09, 2012

Happiest Toddler on the Block

10 basics for raising a happy toddler by Dr. Harvey Karp

1.  Think of your toddler as a caveman: Their brains are still developing and primitive.  They are not yet good at language or logic.  Emotion and impulse are more dominant parts of their brain.

2.  Know their temperament: laid-back, cautious, or spirited? Know this can help you anticipate their needs and reactions.

3.  Give yourself a break because parenting is hard: You don't have enough help.  Your buttons get pushed.  Your personality might not mesh with theirs.

4.  Be an ambassador for your toddler: Handle them with respect, kindness, and diplomacy when you set limits. 

5.  Practice the fast food rule daily:  When they are throwing a tantrum, spend time echoing their needs and feelings back at them before you tell them something.

6.  Speak in toddler-ese: Use short phrases.  Repeat yourself several times.  Use animated gestures and an expressive voice to mirror their feelings to connect with them emotionally.

7.  Encourage your child's good behaviors with
      - Time-ins: attention, play, praise, gossip, hand checks, etc... at least 20 minutes a day  
      - Confidence builders: offer them choices, play the boob
      - Teach patience: patience stretching, magic breathing
      - Routines: bedtime sweet talk, special time
      - Planting seeds of kindness: fairy tales, catching others being good, role playing

8.  Curb annoying behaviors by
     - Connecting with respect: fast food rule + toddler-ese
     - Offer win-win compromises
     - Give mild consequences: clap-growl, kind ignoring

9.  Put a stop to unacceptable behaviors: time-outs; giving a fine

10.  Prevent most tantrums or stop them by
       - Fast food rule + todder-ese
       - Avoid problem situations
       - Connecting with respect all day long
       - Feeding the meter: time-ins, playing the boob, routines, etc...
       - Teach patience-stretching

1 comment:

  1. Julie Park10:58 AM

    These are all great ideas! I had a lot of fun in the second year, it was a whole new world with a walker on our hands. It's so much easier as they begin to talk and express themselves and move on to more independence. Have fun!!