Toddlers are constantly absorbing the world around them. As their caregiver, it is our greatest mutual gift to provide them with the space to thrive. By setting expectations for our toddlers, we are teaching them just how capable they are. Toddlers can be known for their inability to regulate their emotions and throw tantrums when they don't get what they want. This behavior does not have to be normalized as acceptable. We can set boundaries that they learn to respect. Therefore, they feel empowered and the result is positive behavior and a toddler who is content, respectful and engaged in the world around them.
Set clear expectations with clear and concise messaging
“Let’s go for a walk together. You can walk by yourself, or we can hold hands.”
Be consistent with your initial message
Child Requests: “UP”
“I hear you’d like to come up. Remember, we’re walking, I can hold your hand”
Setting a toddler up with clear expectations and holding those, sets the toddler up for success. On a walk, the toddler knows ahead of time that they will be walking, so you are not surprising them with a “no”. Simply a reminder of what was expected and follow through. Upon finishing the walk, they feel successful, proud of themselves, and accomplished in completing a task.
“Wow, look at you!! You walked all by yourself for the whole walk! Thank you!!”