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Toddlers have busy brains, and at the same time very little control on their emotions; therefore, conflicts are inevitable. You need ample amount of patience and perseverance to handle an angry toddler. Read on to find ways to handle conflict with them.
Tips to Handle Conflict with Toddlers
- Set aside your impatience and worry. Focus on the child rather than your own feelings.
- Breathe deeply and stay relaxed. The toddler picks up clues from your behaviour. If you stay relaxed, chances are he will cool down faster.
- Avoid too much discussion: Too much discussion aggravates a bad situation. Set limits and then leave the child to absorb it.
- Take a break. Give yourself a timeout if you feel overwhelmed or at a loss about your course of action: Timeouts work not just for your baby but for you too. If you feel you are going to lose your temper or cannot decide on how to handle the situation consider taking a break.
- If a child behaves unusually badly try to look at the reason. Remember they’re toddlers.
- They may be hungry, sleepy or upset over many reasons. Arriving at that reason may help resolve the conflict.
- Don’t take the conflict personally. The way your child is behaving is not a reflection on you nor does he mean all that he is saying.
- Avoid getting physical. Hitting should never be an option. It prompts your toddler to think of hitting as acceptable behaviour that he might transfer to other kids later.
- Don’t worry that the child will stop loving you. If the limits that you are enforcing are fair and reasonable, your child will soon understand them and follow them willingly.
Managing Kids Conflict at School
1. Give them time to cool off
Sitting them down and giving them time to cool off helps them think.
2. Remain neutral
The moment you take sides you become an enemy of one of the children and will never be able to effectively resolve that conflict. Remember to protect: Angry toddlers can hit, bite or throw things. You might need to hold the angry child or remove him from the group for a while.
3. Acknowledge both sides
Often in conflicts, no one side is right. It helps if you acknowledge that both sides have a point and then help them arrive at a solution together.
4. Give them time
Wait for them to work out their own solutions. Conflict solving is a skill that toddlers need to be taught. Tempting as it may be to provide them a readymade solution to ‘sort things quickly’, avoid doing that. Prod them, question them and help them arrive at a solution on their own.
Disciplining Children Effectively
Consistency is the golden rule of discipline. It removes ambiguity and the kids accept it without question.
2. Be short and firm
Long explanations serve to complicate and confuse. Lay down simple, short rules in few firm words.
A ‘punishment’ chair for the toddler when he breaks a rule may work. Keep the time short – ‘as many minutes as many years old the child is’ is the accepted thumb rule. You might need to sit with your toddler, while they’re on timeout.
Praise is a strong positive disciplining method. It often propels the child to good behaviour.
Handling conflict is a difficult task for you, but with patience and peaceful parenting, you can teach important life skills to your kids.