After thoroughly enjoying Janet Lansbury's Elevating Child Care, I just finished reading her other book, No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame. I found this one as enlightening and useful, filled with tons of examples of great language and ways to approach various difficult situations that come up while parenting toddlers. For me, this book was slightly less relevant than the first one given that my son is not yet a toddler, but it still has given me a great general framework with which to approach situations and lots of tools that I'm sure will be useful in the coming years.
Once again, the audio version was awesome because hearing how Janet delivers the various explicit messages and her general tone of voice was really instructive.
Set limits and tone
Just be honest with baby
1 no bad kids. Toddler discipline without shame.
2 why toddlers push limits
Lots of emotions and immature prefrontal cortex
Overwhelmed by impulses
Never take limit pushing personally
Sos/I can't carry on. Usually it's your fault for overtiring them. Or they're hungry. Wow you're telling me you're tired. I'm sorry we're going to go now.
Clarity please. Learning about our leadership and love and consequences in different situations. Our responses must show we’re unruffled by their behavior and can handle it with no problem.
What's all the fuss about? Don't overdramatize or discuss limit pushing behavior. I hear how angry you are about leaving the park.
Do I have capable leaders?
I've got a feeling. Needs to release stress.
Flattery. Reflect our behavior towards others.
Good way to get our attention. Give more attention in other ways.
Have u told me u love me lately?
3 talking to toddlers
Small humans in turmoil
Off balance due to rapid growth
Talk normally in full sentences. Can do shorter sentences and slower speech and pauses between sentences.
Turn no into yes. I hear you asking for our attention. When dad and I are done talking I'll listen only to you.
I want you to sit still on my lap vs don't bounce on me.
Give choices. Do you want to put the toy away on the shelf or in the box? I see you're still playing. Would you like to change your diaper now or in 5 min?
First acknowledge. You're having a hard time with those shoes. You're really working hard. Don't assume feelings, just state what know for sure. Not you're afraid of the dog. Better: you seem upset by the dog. Do you want me to pick you up? You want to run across the street, but I won't let you.
4 baby discipline person to person
Our needs matter too. You're upset about how long I'm taking in the kitchen. You want to climb on me but that's bothering me. Please speak in your regular voice so I can understand. That yelling is hurting my ears, please sit down and tell me what you want.
Clear expectations. Daily routine.
Direct first person.
Don't just say no. Give guidance and explanation. I can't let you touch the electrical cord because it's not safe, I'm going to help you let go of it.
Avoid baby words like inside voice and use your words since wouldn't say those to adult you respect.
Don't discourage curiosity. Look at the leaf you found, but this isn't safe for you to touch and put in your mouth so I'm going to move it.
5 toddlers need for boundaries
I don't want you to climb on me. You can sit with me. But if you want to climb there's a structure over there.
I won't let you hit. I don't want you to hit. Don't give too much attention to bad action.
Transitional situations like going into car seat can give choice to kid but if doesn't do it then can put in yourself. Not independent play.
Kids desire parental control
6 key to cooperation
Give advance notice or make activity part of routine
Don't interrupt play unless critical. Prepare by saying in a few min it will be time to brush teeth etc.
offer autonomy letting child try to complete task. Offer choices.
Slow everything down
7 ditch distraction
Don't be phony about your reaction.
Use opportunities to resolve conflicts
Give guidance on rules and facts
Don't cause break in attention
Respect. You had the toy and now Jon does. You wanted it. Now you're upset.
8 why they don't follow our directions
Don't just use words.
Don't be reticent to enforce directions
Be ho hum in response to bad behavior or words
9 choices our kids can't make
Need help with transitions
Ambivalence from parent will be detected and used
Hurting self or others. Offer something safe to hit or stomp feet.
Repetitively taking toys
Car seats. Can choose to get in himself or get helped.
Clothing within reason
Leaving when u need to go do something
10 power of no
Effortlessly in charge
Give choices to encourage autonomy and explain consequences of his actions (no time to read book)
Leave food on plate. If throwing then not hungry.
11 no fan of timers
Better to learn head on skill of being the bad guy
No gimmicks of any kind like jumpers or sticker charts or time out or kid words
12 staying unruffled
Toddlers asking us to clarify things and show boundaries
Perspective that this is healthy behavior of gaining autonomy and reacting to changes in life or family
Help instead of being angry
Perceive conflict and emotions as positive
Have reasonable expectations
Be proactive and put in situations that are ok
Can you do this on your own or do you need my help
Imagine you've been handling this with grace for years.
Recognize personal triggers
13 staying calm when kids aren't
Imagine donning superhero suit that deflects all outrages and keeps you cool
You have some very strong feelings about that
Take deep breath. Put on superhero suit.
Gentle guidance. Sounds like ur uncomfortable can u use your normal voice to tell me what u need?
Rest food drink comfort
15 biting hitting kicking
Perspective and attitude
Don't take behavior personally
Don't lose control
You're having a hard time not hitting so I will hold your hand.
Just be there with them if they're yelling.
Key word: unruffled. We're big and on top of things. Think to yourself, “boring!” About any annoying behavior you don't want to reinforce
16 food fight
Changes in growth change their appetite. Don't be concerned or show tension or annoyance.
Keep meals simple and don't invest or expect
Temper reactions positive and negative
Amount he eats doesn't affect u
Present small amounts
17 sassy bossy
Stop reacting to bad behavior
Adjust your perspective
You seem to have strong opinions about that
Hm I guess we have different opinions about that
18 stop feeling threatened
Teddy bear behavior
Assume bad behavior coming from something benign from teddy bear. Harmless
19 don't fight the feelings
Accept negative feelings
20 healing power of tantrums
Allows cooped up negative feelings to come out
21 baby blues
New sibling creates sense of loss
Are you upset the baby's here? Big sisters feel that way. I can't let you jump on the bed.
1:1 time with older child
Ask older child to help care for younger
22 discipline mistakes
Perceiving kids as bad instead of needing help
23 setting limits without yelling
Not about manipulation
Logical and reasonable
Consistent part of routine. Thanks for letting me know you're done. I'm putting the food away. We will be eating again soon.
25 letting child off the hook
I can't let you because. I won't let you because.
26 gentle leader
Set limits calmly and early
I know it's hard for you to wait while I'm busy. But I know you can do it.
Responding to “you have to”: Thank you for your opinion. Here's the plan.
27 gentle discipline
I won't let you
28 strong willed child
29 respect not indulgence
Say yes to feelings and exploration
Calm parent allows tantrum to go as much as wants
I'm here to keep you safe
Give boundaries for safety
Give boundaries during transitions
Give boundaries to limit our annoyance. Don't allow behavior if will annoy us.
Safe enclosed play spaces
30 guilt free discipline
31 not passive parenting
Can you come inside yourself or do you need my help
Mindfulness is not passivity
Limit screens and overstimulating toys