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Toddlers are positively delightful and then also sometimes very challenging. Toddlers often push limits and can be very emotional as they navigate relationships and boundaries.
Right now I am reading Janet Lansbury’s new book No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame and I am excited to share a bit about it with you today.
I started it on an airplane trip (without kids) a few weeks ago and I didn’t put it down the entire flight. I really wish I had been able to read it before my kids became toddlers. I think there is so much I would’ve done differently as a parent. I always love reading posts from Janet over on her website Elevating Child Care but the topics covered in this book are so comprehensive and all in one spot. I love it!
In the first chapter of the book Janet reminds readers that…
“A toddler acting out is not shameful, nor is it behavior that needs punishing. It’s a cry for attention, a shout-out for sleep, or a call to action for firmer, more consistent limits.”
Janet is a parent educator, blogger at Elevating Child Care, and a mom of three. Her book was written as a “practical tool for parents who are anticipating or experiencing those critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love.”
Today I am going to share with you the topics that are covered in Janet’s book, No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame. I am also going to share some favorite tidbits from her book and then I have a giveaway for readers at the end of this post.
As I mentioned above, Janet’s book is such an amazing resource and the topics that are covered are extensive. Here are some of the subjects that are discussed in her book…
- pushing limits
- talking to toddlers
- baby discipline
- need for boundaries
- key to cooperation
- following directions
- making choices
- power of “no”
- secret for staying calm
- biting, hitting, kicking
- food fighting
- back talk
- new siblings
- setting limits without yelling
- discipline mistakes
- being a gentle leader
- strong-willed child
- repectful parenting is not passive parenting
As she kicks off the book Janet talks about several guidelines for parents who are entering the toddler stages. Here are four of my favorite guidelines for parents that she mentions…
1. Don’t take toddler misbehavior seriously.
Janet reminds us that toddlers are learning. We shouldn’t label our child as a “bad kid.” Often toddler misbehavior is telling us that the child needs more limits. My toddler is hitting and throwing things at his sister a lot lately. My response has been to remove the items and set a positive limit with my son. I make sure to explain what he can do with his hands or any objects and what he can’t do. I can tell when his siblings sometimes over-react to his behavior it exacerbates the behavior… so I try and avoid doing that.
2. Respond calmly
This is easier said than done with some kids, but so important! I loved this simple suggestion from Janet, “A simple, matter-of-fact, “I won’t let you do that. If you throw that again I will need to take it away,” while blocking the behavior with our hands, is the best response.”
3. Speak in first person!
Oh goodness I realized after reading this section of the book that I speak in third person ALL THE TIME. Now everytime I do I try and correct myself. Janet believes that direct communication is best for toddlers. Using the third person can be confusing!
4. Use Consequences!
Janet shares that “a toddler learns discipline best when he experiences natural consequences for his behavior, rather than a disconnected punishment like time-out.” Consequences should be fair and not make children feel manipulated or shamed. I think the reminder that the child may still react negatively to the consequence is important. Consequences should not inflict pain either.
I have been working really hard to make consequences more natural at our house. For example, if my oldest son’s room isn’t picked up, then his friend can’t come over or if my toddler hits someone on the head with a stick then he loses the stick. By reacting calmly and immediately my toddler (and older kids) have learned the cause and effect of actions very quickly and know what to expect from us.
These four tips are shared in the first few chapters of Janet’s book along with five more. The rest of the book is simply awesome and is a collection of Janet’s most popular articles related to common toddler behaviors. She also shares how respectful parenting practices can be applied to benefit both parents and children. I think this book may be my new “go to” gift for friends who have kids entering the toddler years.
Do you agree with the quote above? I think I need to hang it on the wall to make sure I remember it!
Do you have a toddler with some challenging behaviors? Are they covered on the list of subjects that Janet talks about in her book?
Have you read Janet’s book yet? You can purchase it on Amazon either as a paperback or in a kindle or audiobook format.
If you liked this post and have a toddler, you might enjoy these posts:
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Janet’s book No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame to read and share with you. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are mine!