HOW TO HELP TODDLERS
Help toddlers experience the consequences of their actions through “cause and effect toys, and using “when/then” techniques
Recognise children’s needs to put things in their mouths by having a good supply of teething toys on hand, keep a damp cloth in the fridge for the toddler to bite onto in times of teething trouble.
Give clear choices not in the form of questions but in looking for opportunities to empower them with decision making
Promote empathy and taking turns by “your turn….my turn” rolling the ball between you, modelling how to politely ask for a turn, providing opportunities to care for other living things such as watering plants, feeding the fish, comforting the baby, brushing the dog.
Encourage the use of a comforter as a self soother when upset
Be reasonable and consistent. Ensure you have reasonable expectations. Be willing to make adjustments in the way you enforce limits if you find that you have misunderstood your child’s abilities. Don’t allow younger children to grab stuff from older children. It isn’t cute and will lead to bad habits
HOW TO HELP TWO YEAR OLDS
Promote empathy, taking turns and sharing by reading stories aloud and highlighting the perspectives of the character’s feelings; Protecting their favourite toys from others by storing them away during play dates; purchasing a large mirror so they can look at their whole body. This helps her learn where her body boundaries are in relation to others
Set up routines and schedules. Help them learn patience and understanding of passage of time by maintaining routines. Help the child to see the pattern in the day. Providing a chart with pictures can help children visualize progressive events and lessen any frustration. Be mindful of how long you expect the child to comfortably wait for things. Suggest ways for her to occupy herself while waiting. Have a note pad on hand for drawing or a travel game to play while waiting.
HOW TO HELP THREE YEAR OLDS
Promote taking turns.
Play simple games that involve taking turns, such as picture matching and lotto games.
Describe what you see, as in, “I see two angry children. It seems like both you and Latisha want a turn with the bike at the same time.” When you see a child put a toy down, ask him if he is “done with his turn.”
Help him to understand that by leaving the item, he has made the decision to allow someone else to take the next “new turn.”
Help children understand feelings and develop control over actions
Offer physical activities that help children deal with strong feelings in an appropriate way: drums, play dough, shovels for digging, paper tearing, balls to throw, large sheets of paper for painting, etc.
Use active listening when children are upset so they know you understand what they are feeling. Say, “I can see how mad you are that you can’t get that puzzle piece to fit.”