Before I begin, let me tell ya…..I am no expert on parenting, nor do I ever expect to be one, BUT I do have an active (or overactive!) toddler and all I can do is trial and error, so let me share with you what works for me and my son C. And please…..share your own tips with us.
Have you ever felt like your child’s toddlerhood is just one long chain of negative behaviors and you just can’t seem to put an end to it and you start to feel helpless? At first you try to stay cool and explain why what he or she is doing is wrong, and when that doesn’t help to stop it, you simply lose it and start to yell out loud, but guess what, your child still shows no fears or regrets! Well, I can surely attest to that!
Yet, one nice evening, when the kids were both asleep and I was finally able to relax, I thought about the events of the day and I said that’s it! Why keep doing the same thing, talking and reprimanding, which brings no positive results? So I thought, for a full week I will try just SILENCE! So, the next morning, as soon as C began hitting his baby sister for one reason or no reason, I just kept my mouth shut and gently pulled him away from the scene. At first he gave me that look that says “ what happened to you, mom?” but it worked! I won’t lie to you and say that I didn’t have to pull him away from another couple of “crime scenes” that day or the next, but as time passed and I kept my ground, I began to see some change. As soon as some of that negative behavior stopped, I started to get curious as to what is the reasoning behind this? So I went to my local library and retrieved some good old books on Parenting, and “understanding how your child’s mind works” and here’s an interesting theory I came across:
A parenting guidance counselor gave a class to a group of moms of young children and she asked all moms to close their eyes and think of their greatest dream in life! She then instructed them to think about their wish for 60 seconds, and the wish would come true! But, there was one condition: the wish can be for anything, but a pink elephant. Sounds ridiculous, right?! Well, you’re in for a surprise…she counted to three, all the moms closed their eyes and after a couple of seconds there was a fit of laughter. Everyone was having the exact same thought – A PINK ELEPHANT! Why? Because that’s how our limited human minds work. You tell your mind not to think, but you just can’t keep those thoughts from popping into your head.
This explains why saying NO to your toddler will only encourage him to go on, because his mind will interpret that as a YES – he’s gotta check it out!