Over the past three and a half years I've collected, stumbled upon and crafted a handful of strategies that have helped me to navigate the tumultuous territory of Toddlerville and to avert many of its notorious clashes. Of course, every child has outbursts that leave parents shaking their heads in bewilderment but it seems to me that many of the tantrums and behavioral difficulties expressed by young toddlers can be minimized with some simple but effective tactics.
I'm no expert and I certainly don't have all the answers (or as much patience as I would like) but as I get to know my children better every day and learn my own strengths and weaknesses as a parent, I'm always tickled when I can elicit a moment of connection when it seemed tears and strife were imminent.
So, as a record for myself (and for my children), I've written a series of posts on Toddler Tactics that I use to avoid difficult situations in the first place or to alter the course of a confrontation once it's begun. Sometimes the use of a single tactic works like magic. Sometime I have to improvise and of course other times, absolutely nothing seems to work and I'm left bewildered, or worse, losing my temper and yelling. I suspect that this happens to all of us. I'm not perfect and neither are my children, but these tactics represent my best practice parenting strategies. Writing about them in detail helps me to call them to mind when I might otherwise resort to something less dignified.
Thankfully, many of the tactics have retained their effectiveness into the preschool years and, having relied on them for quite some time now, I can highly recommend them! If these tactics are of any benefit to my readers, I'll see that as an added bonus and I'd love to hear about your experiences.
Here are the titles in the series so far. I'll link to the posts as I publish them and I may add more as I think of other tactics.
Toddler Tactics - Positive Foundations
Toddler Tactic #1 - The Countdown
Toddler Tactic #2 - Eye Level
Toddler Tactic #3 - Give Choices
Toddler Tactic #4 - Specific Requests
Toddler Tactic #5 - Side Door Messages
Toddler Tactic #6 - Time-In
Toddler Tactic #7 - Change the Scene
Toddler Tactic #8 - Acknowledge and Validate Emotions
Look for Toddler Tactic #1 tomorrow!