5 Tips that will encourage better toddler behaviour

Always give a countdown.

It is better to pre warn your toddler that a change of activity is imminent. If you are expecting him to cooperate, you will have more success if he knows what is coming next. For example, you need to go to the supermarket to do a food shop, to be back in time for lunch. After breakfast, explain what will be happening for the rest of the morning so that your toddler knows in advance. During his mid-morning snack explain that when he has finished eating you will both be going on a short trip to the shops and he will need to get ready in a few minutes. When it is time to go, he will not be as frustrated and not engrossed in his toys.

Always remember to give praise for good behaviour.

It’s easy to forget to praise the good behaviour when your life is busy. If your toddler has been playing nicely, been kind to a younger sibling, used lovely table manner or just remembered to say Thank you, it is important tell him how well he has done. Positive praise will help your child develop good self esteem this in turn will lead to a more confident child.

Remind your toddler which behaviour is desirable and reward him with some quality time or a reward activity

Ensure that your toddler gets the right amount of sleep at the right time of day.

Toddlers who are sleep deprived are usually prone to more meltdowns. Put an evening and bedtime routine in place, follow the same pattern each night where possible. Turn off the tv, ipad and computer 2 hours before bedtime. Toddlers thrive on routine and like to know what is coming next. A wind down, followed by a bath, brush teeth, story, cuddles, into bed and settle to sleep. By 2 years old children should have their milk before their bath, out of a beaker or cup and brush teeth after. Bedtime should always be between 7pm and 8pm.

Outside play, fresh air and exercise is a winner

Toddlers are very physical and need plenty of outside exercise no matter what the weather. Unless you have acres of garden, a walk outside, visit to a park or run through some fields will help your toddler feel calmer. Even if it is easier to pop him in the pushchair to get from A to B, where possible allow a little more time so that he can walk with you.

A whole food diet and Regular meals time make a difference

Although toddlers can be fussy, try to avoid offering lots of processed snacks. Most children between 2 and 3 can become picky about food, refusing to eat from time to time.

If your toddler has refused his lunch, move on with the day, do not offer puddings or five choices of other foods. Most will have 1 good meal every day so try not to worry too much. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are okay but try not to let him fill up at these times. Offer fruit, cut up raw veggies, or nuts as a snack. Give him home made simple lunches and dinners, porridge for breakfast with nut butter or fruit. Erratic blood sugar caused by snacking on high sugar foods can affect your child’s behaviour making him more prone to meltdowns.