In our last couple article, we’ve discussed some toddler tips involving balancing kids work and play as well as covering the topic of “can toddlers listen?” In this article, we wanted to delve a bit deeper into toddler tips relating to helping your toddler follow directions. Getting your toddler to listen can be a lot easier than you might think if you keep a few key things in mind while talking to them. Getting your toddler to listen might at times feel impossible, but we’re confident that with some patience and persistence along with the following toddler tips you can make it happen!
Top Five Toddler TIps for Better Listening
Open Channels for Respectful Communication
As early as the infancy stage it’s quite apparent that every child is unique. They have tastes and preferences and are intrigued by different things. These qualities are not only amazing, but also very healthy. They lay the foundation for shaping a developed personality and will help bring your child confidence as they grow up. Avoid manipulation and yelling at your toddler which can quickly backfire and breed dissent and opposition. Keep statements positive when speaking with your toddler and select your phrases carefully. “I love it when you pick up your toys” or “we can play outside if we clean up” are highly effective and statements that make a request in a positive manner.
Keep It Simple
For us adults, many of our home’s responsibilities and chores have become common to the point that many of us complete them without as much as a second thought, but your toddler isn’t an adult. We should always remember just how short a time your toddler has really been in this world. Organizing your home so that it’s easier for your child to help with cleaning up toys and other things they play with is a highly proactive move. This will make both your toddler’s and your own life easier and encourage them to help out in a way that involves minimal distress or frustration. Create a specific place for shoes, books, and toys your child commonly uses and show these new accessible places to your toddler. This will make them feel more independent and in many cases, the excitement of this alone will be the encouragement they needed to start adopting neater habits. Help your toddler clean up, they won’t “do it right” if they were never taught correctly.
Keep Things Reasonable
Toddlers are quite literally in the middle of gaining more control of their core motor skills and have a difficult time keeping multiple tasks in mind at once. Rather than giving your child a series of things to do such as “Put your toys away, wash your hands, and get your jacket,” pro toddler tips would suggest that you rather begin with one simple task. In this scenario you could simply begin with “please clean up your toys” then continue whatever task you were working on. If your child isn’t listening remind that you can help them and set the example of what you’d like done. As soon as your child begins to help and clean up give them a smile and a thank you. Keep in mind that it’s very difficult for your child to complete all tasks a perfectly as you might like. Toys may end up around the designated area instead of in it. Learn to recognize your child’s sincere efforts and avoid being hung up on perfectionism. If you want something touched up you can come back to it later. Keep in mind that the main goal of getting your child to help should be mainly for the developmental benefits and if they are trying to help this is being accomplished.
Make It Fun
Ensure that you set a good example and keep the atmosphere light when it comes to teaching your child to follow directions and help with things like cleaning up their toys and belongings. Your toddler is always observing your behavior and looking for exemplary cues on how to behave themselves. If you and your partner have a tendency to complain or argue over who will do what in the house then you are risking your toddler in following the same example because they will see “work or help” as something to avoid. If you’d like your child to follow directions and clean up, set a good example!
If You Say It, Mean It
Often times toddlers won’t listen to what you are asking of them because they can tell that your request is half-hearted. If you’re commonly wavering following up on what you say you’re going to do you will encounter issues. Toddler tips suggest that you only ask for things that you’re willing to ensure will get done. If either you or your child is low on energy it’s okay to minimize the number of requests for the day.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed these toddler tips on helping your child follow directions. A Child’s Academy is top rated Gainesville Florida child care provider. We offer a well-developed curriculum and a caring staff. If you are in Alachua County and looking for a quality preschool, after-school care, summer camp, or VPK provider don’t hesitate to contact us today.