Two & A Half Years Old
When we use the word “No” it has children stop what they are doing in a means that creates a consciousness that is premature. So we use the word “No” infrequently and when we do we say it, mean it and follow through with warmth and love. All other times we simply support our children by redirecting or distracting them.
Tell your child what to do in 10 words or less. Be specific and clear in your direction.
Many children struggle with anxiety due to the boundaries changing and the parent reversing directions. This is arguably the number one cause of anxiety in our children today.
What we know is that if you make the effort and take the time now to give clear messages, be consistent and follow through – when your children are 3 they (an you) will have an easier, smoother time.
We have talked about the ‘Look, Listen and Do Game’ and have encouraged you to tell your children rather than ask them. We like manners, “Please pick that up.” We also like to use the word “may.” “You may come to the table now.” Curiously we have found that when we tell parents this and then they practice such in front of us they still ask, so here are some examples of how you may be asking your child:
Do you want this or that?
What do you want to wear/eat/do?
We discourage burdening young children with choice.
When we invite children to choose we are bringing out the “I want” awareness in their personality too young, before it is developmentally appropriate and this has consequences. This creates emotional difficulties that impact behavior and social relations. Now as they grow they want more for themselves while becoming less and less interested in the world outside of their wants. When children reach the age of five they are ready for limited choices. Would you like vanilla or strawberry?
We remain calm when children frustrate so that they may absorb our effort to remain centered and restore harmony. Children benefit from our striving.