Yup, I really just say it. And I would be lying if I didn’t confess that this takes a lot of practice and patience to win. Always. But the more you adjust your behavior the easier it gets. And you guys this all starts with letting your toddler feel like they are in control. The key word being FEEL. The best way to do this is through choices.
We’ve all been there. Your toddler wants to do one thing and you want them to do another. There’s a huge meltdown and you’re left in a hot mess trying to console the unconsolable child by your side. It all starts with choices. But when I say choices I mean choices that you, as in mama or dada, want to happen. Creating choices can be tricky. Here are a few tips that I find helpful in preventing meltdowns. And in my opinion, come out as a winner!
- Only give 2 choices
- You must be able to follow through on the choices provided
- Repeat the choices several times
- If your child is unable to pick a choice, restate with “looks like, you’re choosing (xyz)”, stating the choice you want them to do
Wondering what this might look like? Let me give you a few examples I use in our home!
Laying out two choices and allowing them to decide on a top or shoes. Only doing one thing at a time. ”Do you want to wear the shirt that is red or the shirt that is blue?”
Pointing to drink options. ”Would you like milk or water?”
Showing the choices. ”Books or bed? Books or bed?”
When your little one is doing something you don’t want them to do. Let’s use the example of wandering off. ”You can either stay by mama or mama is going to carry you”.
Personally, I think the most important part of providing choices to your child is having realistic choices. Ones you can actually follow through with. I also don’t feel every situation allows for choices. So pick and choose when you use them. However, the more a child feels they have a choice as to how their day is going, the smoother it seems to run!
What are your thoughts on giving choices? I’d love to hear from you.