Your little one asks for a cup of water, and just as you hand it to her, she screams “NO!” and swats it away. Why did she freak out? When she asked for water, she wanted it with her Dora cup and the straw you gave to her yesterday, not the little purple sippy cup. What is wrong with you?

For toddlers, language issues are often the cause of emotional upsets. For the cup scenario is just a classic example. Your daughter expected exactly what she got last time, but she simply did not have the vocabulary to ask for that particular cup. And even though she did not react politely, it actually makes sense, in this case, to give it to her. Look at it this way: You are meeting your child’s need, now that you have figured it out, and you might even be preventing an even bigger meltdown.

Toddlers do read faces very well, so use both your voice and your language to convey your message to them. And pay attention to your child’s nonverbal cues, such as tilting her head when she does not quite understand something you have said. At least, as much as her words, the results just may surprise you.

One last piece of advice: Instead of spending your energy cleaning up every last mess and worrying about discipline, embrace the toddler perspective more often. You may actually discover a more creative side to yourself and a more cooperative side to your toddler. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.


Sticky Fingers



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