It’s a toddler’s prerogative to test the limits and boundaries you set for them. This is all part of normal development but it is best to be prepared with the tools to deal with it age appropriately.
Here are some tips to help you deal with early limit and boundary testing:
- Right the wrongs together, for example, cleaning up a mess
- Emphasise and reinforce positive behaviour
- Enlist their help (feed dog, stack books, pass items)
- Allocate responsibility (for older toddlers) for example make toddler “boss” of the seatbelts in the car
- Talk understandable toddler talk i.e. short phrases, lots of repetition, gestures and emotion.
- Use consistency and follow-through.
- Validate frustration or desires, but apply limits e.g. “I know you want the truck, but we don’t grab”.