Tips to a Better Toddler: Have a Plan. Keep to the Plan.

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I am the worst parent when I feel as though I have no control over my child.  I panic.  And I do not make wise choices.

So I develop a plan of action for my children, and this is especially helpful in the toddler years, as they find comfort in routine and anxiety apart from it.

A plan of action for a toddler is basically a bag of tricks.  How can you get your child to obey?  What can you use as a reward?  What can you use as discipline?  And what can you use as discipline with the first disciplinary tactic fails miserably?

If you use the same rewards and the same disciplines consistently, then your child will come to expect them.  So do not use a new toy for one reward and a pat on the back to reward the same action the next day.  Unless you explain it thoroughly to your child that this treat is a one-time thing.  (I’m thinking potty prizes, specifically, here).

Our reward system is a Random Acts of Kindness Marble Jar.  When a child is caught obeying quickly, sharing selflessly, or working hard, a marble is awarded.  When the Marble Jar is full, we get to make sugar cookies with frosting.  Yum.

Also, try to keep the disciplines the same for the same offenses.  This way he develops a sense of the levels of wrongs.  Arguing with your sister is not as severe as jumping on the baby.  We know this because arguing with your sister results in a time-out, where as jumping on the baby will get you a spanking.  And a stern talking to.  And Momma may even cry.

One aspect of having a plan that has saved my sanity repeatedly, is when a child is whiny.  It is a rule in our house that if you cannot stop whining/crying (when there is no real reason behind it), you must go sit on your bed until you can stop whining/crying.

I’m sure it is a statistical fact that no sound makes a momma go crazy faster than that of whining.

Both my children can expect the punishment of being sent to their room for this.  Therefore, though they may protest with harsher whining/crying initially, they do not throw much of a fit, and within minutes they are at least attempting to be in a better mood.

Thus, my sanity is saved.

And anything that helps Momma keep her sanity definitely makes for a better toddler.

So make a plan.  And keep to the plan.

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