Monday, March 26, 2012

Pre-Toddlers and Emotions

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Emotional responses are a complex thing--even adults often can't explain why they "feel" a certain way. On Becoming Pre-Toddlerwise has two great ideas for helping parents encourage happy emotions while discouraging angry emotions (pages 100-101).

The first tip is to respond to joy with joy. When your child is excited, you be excited, too. Reinforce that joy by showing you are happy for your child.

The second tip is to respond to anger with gentleness. Do not respond with anger. If your child yells or talks unkindly, do not respond in the same manner. Respond with kindness, gentleness, and patience. This is of course not always so simple to do, but I have personally found this to be very effective. Responding with anger reinforces the anger. Patience does not reinforce it, and it demonstrates the correct way to react when upset. 

These are very simple and yet very effective tips. They are also great because they are something you control completely. You control your reactions, so you have full power over this tip!

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Maloree Munn said...

I just stumbled upon Harey Karp's Happy toddler book. I would like to know what you think about his way of dealing with toddler tantrums. In one way, I see his point, but in others I don't see how it is teaching the correct way to behave. It almost seems like it would be reinforcing the tantrum. Do you have thoughts or experience with his method?

Plowmanators said...

I haven't read that Maloree. If you want to post a premise I can tell you what I think based on that--otherwise I haven't read that book. I will add it to my books to read though :)

Kristy Powers said...

You are right! These are simple (at least to understand) and yet super effective. Sometimes when tip #2 is very hard for me, I decide to take a nap at the next opportunity. That helps. :)

Plowmanators said...

So true Kristy. Sleep definitely helps us all be happy :)


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