This little slide show will try to explain how we can help our toddlers experience some prediction and control in their own lives... which means we may have to give up some of the control and prediction in our adult lives.
What is your belief in these two assumptions?
Do you believe that humans have these five needs and that they are essential to one’s healthy development?
Do you believe, deep in your heart of hearts, that toddlers are human?
If we believe that the toddler is really human with the accompanying five human needs then we need to understand those needs, especially the need to have some control and predictability in their life!
In a conflict, who is going to have their needs met? ADULT CHILD NEEDS CONFLICT OF
The frustration of needs brings on aggression...and the temper tantrums are close behind.
A basic premise of human personality is that when a person/toddler does not get their basic needs met then anger, hostility and aggression result...
The role of hostility...
When your expectations are not fulfilled then the energy of hostility is created and will usually be dissipated toward the person responsible for not meeting the expectation. that's why we can get so angry at those we love, especially when they don't do what we want.
We engage one of three options when our expectations are not met....
#1. I believe I'm wrong and change expectation...
#2. I believe someone didn't “understand”, I'll give them another chance...
#3. I will try and force them to change to meet my expectation.
We usually don't believe we are wrong so that doesn't enter our minds but sometimes we give others a chance to change their behavior. When they still don't do what we want then we try to force the change so they behave the way we want them to behave. We use physical force with smaller children and emotional or psychological force with other adults and older children.
You are a young mother and it is Tuesday evening. Dinner is over, your husband has just left for a meeting and your two older children are in the family room watching TV... Then you see it...Jason didn’t eat his peas.You tell him to come finish them but he ignores you. You eventually have him at the table with the use of threats, punishment and whatever will work.
Toddler guidelines for autonomy/self-esteem:
1. Provide choices
2. Set limits and have boundaries
3. Allow them to do as much as possible for themselves such as eating, dressing, bathroom use, etc..
REMEMBER: a toddler has a poor sense of time so be willing to wait patiently.
A sense of security can build a child's self-esteem, so:
1. Have family rules.
2. Incorporate family schedules and routines.
3. Give children jobs and responsibilities
4. Try to have a consistent personality as a parent.
We humans are creatures of habit...
Humans are most comfortable with the familiar and quickly establish routines to create order, control, and predictability in life.
Any disturbance that upsets the familiar is usually accompanied by agitation, nervousness and irritation.
We can help our toddlers by having a sense of the routine and predictable. Meal times, bed times, etc.
There is very little control or predictability in a toddler’s life:
Have you ever wondered why children will sit and watch the same show or video over and over and over and over again?
The reason they do, is it gives them a sense of knowing what will happen.
Have you ever tried changing a well known child’s story to increase the interest?
They don't like it. It disturbs their sense of predicability.
“ Reasoning with a toddler” is not a good option...
Remember... It usually does not work!
Instead provide choices and limits with consequences!
A toddler’s self-esteem...
Understand that a toddler who has autonomy, control, and some predictive power in their life will feel good about themselves. Parents who treat their toddlers with “human respect” will nurture self respect and esteem over time.
I am not suggesting that you let your toddler have his/her way all the time but by giving choices, having schedules and respecting and understanding their needs for control and preditabiltiy you will help them develop into healthy human beings.