There is nothing more frustrating than a toddler or young child that put ups the same arguments, procrastinations, tantrums and refusals in order to avoid doing a certain task or behaving in a certain way. Often these should be relatively simple tasks that need to be done on a daily basis but at the first sign of gesticulation, they quickly escalate into World War 3, causing tempers, voices and stress levels to all rise in one sweaty, heart palpitating, ear piercing unison.
As I am firmly entrenched in the midst of guiding a 4th child through toddlerhood and not far off dealing with the same challenges for a 5th and final time, I have had to come up with a few strategies to ensure tasks are performed with minimal of fuss so that one can move on to all the other gazillion tasks that lie in wait. I have learnt that kids love routine. They love knowing what is coming next and they love being able to predict things. Whilst they will probably not admit it anytime soon, they also love boundaries and having these boundaries enforced. But kids also love the feeling that they are in control and that their decision-making plays a part in their daily tasks. [Read more...]