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Learning to communicate for a toddler can be an exciting time. Be it verbal or non-verbal communication, the minds of children are quick to grasp what they see and hear. They learn not just from the people around them but also from the media. Unfortunately, toddlers can also pick up unsavory gestures, which can leave parents alarmed and embarrassed. What do you do in such situations?
Learn How to Handle Inappropriate Toddlers Gestures
1. Never Be Harsh with Your Child
Your toddler is too young to understand the reason behind unpleasant behaviour. Shouting will only upset him and it won’t stop him from doing the same thing. Dealing with a toddler’s obscene behaviour has to be done gently, by way of making him understand why you’re correcting him.
2. Ignore The Behaviour
Another way of dealing with inappropriate gestures is to completely ignore your child so that he understands that this is not going to get any attention from you. Most kids behave a certain way if they know they’ll draw attention. Once your child sees that you’re not reacting, he’ll gradually stop what he’s doing.
3. Be Consistent in Correcting Your Child
Your toddler is at an age where he looks to you for reasoning, understanding, and acceptance. If you do not correct him consistently by repeating the same advice, he may not register that he’s doing something wrong. Ask your husband and others in the family to do the same.
If your toddler has witnessed a kissing scene and you see your 14-month-old gesturing wrongly after that and trying to do the same to you, move your lips away and offer your cheek instead. Distracting a child can sometimes make him forget what he’s trying to do.
5. Never Encourage Inappropriate Gestures
It may be the latest dance step that he’s learned, and he may have picked it up exactly the way it’s to be done. If it’s inappropriate, don’t show appreciation or encouragement. Children look to be appreciated and if your child sees that you find what he’s doing amusing, he’s likely to repeat it.
Reasons Why Toddlers Imitate Obscene Behaviour
- Young children are sometimes unable to distinguish between fantasy and real life.
- Their ever-increasing imaginative skills combine with the visuals they see, which can result in toddlers’ inappropriate gestures.
- Moving images have a higher impact on a child’s mind and he will imitate what he sees, whether it’s a rhyme or a Bollywood song.
Bad behaviour and inappropriate gestures stay with a child until he moves on to something else that catches his attention. Exposing him to a multitude of other things by way of educational videos, kids’ movies, and books can get his mind off the bad stuff and on to more productive and constructive activities.