Toddlers need limits – without them they will be bouncing off the walls, I’ve seen it on more than one occasion. They will test your boundaries and they will try to see how far they can push you. And it’s not just toddlers, it’s all children; they need to be given boundaries. By taking these steps for how to set limits for your toddler, and starting at a younger age, you establish those boundaries that will help them to grow and be happy. Toddlers aren’t being defiant or mean on purpose – they aren’t doing it to upset you. In fact, they typically want to please you and make you happy. However, this is an age of rapid growth in many ways and your toddler may be testing the limits and trying to find their own way in life. This can be frustrating for you when you want or need them to do something.
Here are some ways for how to set limits for your toddler:
Distraction – Sometimes a simple distraction will help deter your toddler from negative behaviors or things you don’t want him to do. My friend was a genius at this with her little one and it was a technique that I borrowed from her and use all the time.
Consistency – You also need to be consistent with the limits you set and the rules you give your toddler. When you say you will do it, do it. When you say there is a consequence, be sure to follow through with it. Count to 10 before shooting off a consequence so that you don’t overdo it and then fall back. These kids are geniuses and will quickly have you figured out.
Stay positive – I know it’s not always easy, but if you show frustration or anger, your toddler will pick up on that and it will make their behavior worse. Stay positive, even if that means you need to take a break yourself if your toddler is having a tantrum. Ever notice how when you soften your voice they too seem to calm down, or vice versa. It even happens with adults, so just relax, breathe and take baby steps when dealing with a toddler having a tantrum – the distraction method applies here too.
Lead by example – You also need to remember that your child is always watching you. Monkey see, monkey do. One of the best things you can do is set a good example. Be the leader and show them how you handle tough or frustrating situations.
With these tips, you can help your child learn how to set limits for themselves as well. This self-control and discipline will go far as they grow older. Do you have an tips to add for how to set limits for your toddler?