Hi! So not to sound like an annoying blogger but…after I posted the below photo of Piper with a bag over her head, I literally had hundreds of messages from people asking me to share whatever advice I received ;). SO many people said, “I’m in the same boat, please tell me what you find out!” Anyways, it feels good to know I’m not alone! And neither are you – I’m here to help!
I also received lots of helpful messages with different methods, tips, and advice. So I’m going to share the things I heard the most…
- Janet Lansbury!!! Hands down, this was the thing I heard the most. SO many of you suggested that I either read her book No Bad Kids or listen to her podcast, “Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled“. I just ordered the book on Amazon and am SO excited to learn from it! I’ll keep you posted as I dig deeper.
- Consistency! Be consistent. I heard this over and over again, that consistency is key.
- Don’t react, and then redirect attention. In so many words, this was another really common piece of advice. To not react to the bad thing that they’re doing and redirect attention to something positive. Or to just say Say, “We don’t do that” and then show them what we do do with it and redirect. Over and over again I heard that if you say no or give it too much attention, they’ll want to keep doing it, which is definitely true with my girls.
- Give warnings and follow through. “If you do _________, __________ will happen.”
- Other recommended books: Happiest Toddler on the Block, Parenting with Love & Logic, and The Montessori Toddler.
Ok, so there you go! I’m going to dive into all of the recommended books and come back to you with some tangible bits we can all use. In the meantime, here are some excerpts from specific messages people sent:
Encourage them to explore with it in other ways (grabbing it with hands, looking at it with just eyes, etc.). If that’s not working, redirect. Try not to say no or give a reaction at all, just move along to something else. Don’t make it seem special. @cthoms16
Say no, put on your “it’s not funny” face, and do a retreat (like on a chair or on the first step of the staircase, always the same) for a minute or two. Your children will associate the consequence to the bad behavior and gradually not repeat it! @cam.belisle
Check out Janet Lansbury. She has a few books and a great podcast. I like her because she talks about parenting and discipline but doing it respectfully so you still let your child become who they are meant to be, not who we want them to be. @channingleone
If it’s my kid, I actually have to forcibly and physically remove him from the situation that is dangerous with a very harsh tone. So put whatever it is that is supposed to go in the bag away for the rest of the day. Usually he cries and is super mad and embarrassed, which is how I know it worked. Then we go back and tell his dolls or stuffed animals “No no teddy bear! no bags over your head! BIG ouchies” that usually does the trick. But it’s HARD. I can’t even imagine with two. You’re doing a great job. I also have introduced the phrase “not funny” so he knows that it’s not okay to laugh at things like that when I’m trying to make a point. I read the book “happiest toddler on the block” and it REALLY helped! @heykimgiron
As soon as the word “no” is used, it’s basically “game on Mom”. I try to only use “no” in serious situations, and if they do it once after that they’re removed from whatever the thing is. And other not so serious instances I don’t give much attention and just an “uh-uh” and they lose interest quickly if there’s no reaction to the word no. @aukema12
We started a Montessori at home method and it has made such a difference with our twin boys after Lindy from @thimbleandcloth shared her journey with her twins. She has a really good blog post about it and how to set up a play space. What has worked for us is toy rotation and everything has its own designated space. We use the #ikeatrofast for toy storage and our boys learned to put toys on their own. This book makes this approach easy for moms that like us that need some guidance. @judy9c
I’ve got a two year old daughter and just read something about how when you say “Don’t” to them it’s like daring them to do it more. So hard to change the vocabulary around the little ones! The article suggested positive phrases about what they “can” do. It’s an hourly struggle! @giannalouise
I have twin girls one month younger than yours. The daycare we take them to taught us to say ‘danger danger!’ with things like this. It seemed that everytime we said ‘no’ it just provoked them. We started saying danger in a scared voice and it seemed to sink in. I feel you! @katepspete
It sounds like she likes the attention you give her when you tell her no. Try responding in a different way, like tone down your facial expressions or change the tone of your voice. She’s a smart girl so if you’ve told her no multiple times and she’s still doing it, she knows she shouldn’t but wants to see your reaction. Also try undoing what she did, like remove the bag from her head and redirect her to something else right away. This way you’re not providing attention to the behavior of putting the bag over her head, but instead engaging her in something else. Hope that’s helpful! @mhoyson
Consistency consistency consistency with toddlers, especially ones under 2. You may have to repeat yourself 1million times, but it pays off. I’ve always found that saying no and explaining why has always worked great with my girls. Even from a young age. Once they get older you ask them to repeat you as to why something is wrong so it really sinks in. @freelinz
No bad kids by Janet Landsbury is a great one. I have twins too and it’s helped a ton. You acknowledge what they are doing or how they feel but then tell them why they can’t do it… ex, “I know you’re being silly putting that on your head, but putting it on your head isn’t safe so I won’t let you do it”. It’s all about testing boundaries at their age. Good luck! @loyostu
Always tell her what to do instead what not to do. If you’re telling her what not to do she is still hearing that action/task that you want her to stop. For example: let’s fill up the bag with legos. If that doesn’t work redirect to something else. Good luck, mama! Toddlers are a force to be reckoned with. @_amandahorne_
So depends on your parenting style but one way which works well is a danger word : so example we use Hot! For everything. I say it in a different tone than I normally speak and when they stop they get a treat. So a few raisins etc. Another is choices – toddlers love taking control. In this instance – “Romy/Piper you need to take the bag off your head or I will” count to three and take it off. First few times que tantrum but then they’ll learn they can have control and take it. Another school of thought esp climbing is that children won’t climb something they can’t get down. I know it’s scary but surprisingly they know their limits. Trust is a big thing when it comes to climbing and some children have an inbuilt desire for adrenaline rush. Disclosure: I don’t have children (yet 🤞🏼) but I am an early years specialist who has run a full day care Creche for 10 years with over 100 beauties so I have had my experience with many a toddler ! ❤️😘Ps: trust your gut you know your girls. @triona_b_oconnor
**Big thanks to @channingleone, @alyoverandout, @cthoms16, @cam.belisle, @meagbaha, @aukema12, @_adrianjoy, @morgan_nantz, @giannalouise, @freelinz, @mhoyson, @katepspete, @andreaarenee, @katechatterton, @emilydianefinley, @_amandahorne_, @foxylady64 and more!!