Toddlers are curious learners. By the age of one, most children discover they have two little feet perfect for exploring. By two, they want some independence, and what follows often leads to undesirable behaviours. Sound familiar? Then it’s time to practice positive parenting solutions.
Positive parenting focuses on the positive aspects of parent-child relationships. Rather than pit parents against children, this parenting perspective centres on our connections with our children and the choices we make as parents.
Raising children is challenging. It’s made easier with positive parenting solutions that recognise a child’s journey doesn’t start with bad intentions. Toddlers find it difficult to communicate. They struggle with these new enormous feelings, and this can frustrate everyone involved.
Parenthood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for toddlers. Only you know what’s best for your child but if you’re struggling or looking for parenting ideas, start with these positive parenting solutions. They cover:
- Peaceful parenting and learning how to control your emotions.
- Building strong parent-child relationships.
- Practical parenting ideas for raising children.
Positive parenting solutions begin with peaceful parenting
There will be days when you feel at your wit’s end. Regardless, when your toddler throws their food on the floor, you need to stay calm and keep your cool. Even when they have a public meltdown, be mindful of the way you feel and display your feelings.
1. Remain calm by focusing on your breathing.
Inhale slowly for a few seconds. Feel the rise of your abdomen and chest, hold it in then let it go. Take stock of the moment and your feelings as you breathe in and out. Practising mindfulness techniques helps us to control impulse emotions.
You may not be about to blow your top. Perhaps your toddler’s undesirable behaviours have you holding back a laugh instead. Either way, the way you react to what they are doing may fuel their actions or send the wrong message.
2. Take time-out for yourself.
As busy parents, we often forget to look after the most important person in our lives: our selves. It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time caregiver or someone who is juggling parenting with a career. We all need to take a little time for ourselves.
Our personal headspace and the way we feel is as important as the time we spend with our children. Feeling overwhelmed? Ask family and friends for help. Parenting is more comfortable when we feel supported by the people around us, and when we take care of our health.
3. Recognise that feelings are contagious.
Science has proven that emotions are contagious. Both upbeat and negative feelings are passed from one person to the other, often subconsciously. As parents, it’s critical we check the way we feel and whether we are influencing our children’s moods.
Positive parenting solutions build strong parent-child relationships
Do you feel time-constrained? With so many distractions in our lives, our family connections often suffer. Positive parenting makes a deliberate effort to strengthen parent-child relationships. By empathising and connecting with our children, we boost their confidence and reduce stress.
4. Acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings.
When your child is misbehaving, ask them to explain in words rather than actions how they are feeling. Understanding your child’s reasons for their behaviour can give you a broader perspective.
When children have difficulty expressing how they feel we should let them know that it’s okay too. Be patient and let them know they can share their feelings with you when they’re ready.
If your child is showing anger, tell them it’s okay to feel that way. Even their negative emotions are valid.
5. Spend quality time with your children.
Sometimes toddlers act out because they want more recognition. Perhaps they feel you don’t give them your full attention. Unplug from the digital world and spend time playing with your child every day to show them they’re loved and wanted.
Children need to feel safe, secure and valued. Spending quality time with your children helps to reduce their stress and promotes their development, health and wellbeing. As toddlers develop their self-awareness praise their efforts, not just the outcomes.
6. Let your toddler make simple choices.
Parent-child relationships work best when we give toddlers the freedom to make simple choices. Letting your child take the lead boosts their confidence. It helps them feel some control and shows them your respect.
7. Give them the space to make (safe) mistakes and find solutions.
Mistakes provide your toddler with opportunities to learn and grow. When a child makes a mistake coach them to find a solution rather than giving them a punishment. Most errors are unintentional. Encouraging your child to find a solution will improve their self-esteem and help them to acknowledge and fix their mistakes.
Practical parenting ideas for raising children
Sometimes our children display inappropriate behaviours when they don’t do the things we ask of them or don’t do them well. As parents, we must set activities and tasks that are appropriate for our toddler’s development and acknowledge their unique strengths.
8. Set realistic expectations for your toddler’s development.
Some children learn new skills quickly. Others take a slower journey with small steps to acquire new skills. Parents’ expectations often exceed a child’s actual abilities, and this can set a child up for failure.
It may be unrealistic to ask a toddler to clean their room, although it is more likely that they can learn to pick up their toys and put them away.
9. Create a positive learning environment.
Toddlers are learning all the time. They learn by watching, listening and repeating what we do. A positive learning environment extends to the home, not just to daycare. It’s crucial that we provide our children with lots of fun activities to explore but also be aware of how our behaviour and language affects their learning.
10. Be consistent.
After you communicate your expectations to your child, stick to your rules. Even if they use their toddler superpowers to get you to budge, hold firm and your child will realise your rules won’t change. Giving in only reinforces unwanted behaviours.
Tantrums are normal for toddlers. They usually indicate a child is having difficulty expressing their feelings in words or have a need that is not being met. So, to help your child manage their behaviours and emotions, take time to give some thought to our:
Positive parenting solutions for toddlers.
- Remain calm by focusing on your breathing.
- Take time-out for yourself.
- Recognise that feelings are contagious.
- Acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings.
- Spend quality time with your children.
- Let your toddler make simple choices.
- Give them the space to make (safe) mistakes and find solutions.
- Set realistic expectations for your toddler’s development.
- Create a positive learning environment.
- Be consistent.
Awaken your child’s love of learning at Petit Early Learning Journey
At Petit ELJ, we welcome open discussions with a child about their thoughts and feelings. We believe every child is capable, resourceful and a constructor of their own knowledge. With this in mind, we apply patience and empathy to each child’s unique perspective on life.
We also partner with our families to encourage strong reciprocal partnerships. Our curriculum takes a holistic approach to learning and developing your child’s emotional competence. If you’d like to discuss your child or learn more about our inspiring learning environment, speak with your Centre Director.