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Working with Toddler Behavior

by | Jan 12, 2019 | Education

Working with Toddler Behavior

Getting your child to listen

Toddler behavior is not the easiest thing parents work with. There are so many suggestions on how to get your toddler to listen, but is there actually a right method to correcting their behavior? We all get angry and frustrated sometimes, and it leads to us using the wrong words or phrases when giving direction to our child.

Using one word

Parents.com gives a great example of getting your child to listen. For awhile, this writer was asking her children to bring the plates to the sink after each meal. The trick that finally worked for her was using one word, “plates” and they listened. This is because you are getting across the one thing you want them to do without necessarily ordering it. Children know what is right from wrong after a certain age, it is the reminder that is important to train them. Kids need to practice their free will so they won’t always listen all the time to every order, but getting that one word across will get through to them.

Positive Reinforcement

Scaring children into doing chores or other activities can lead to lying. Not all children are going to decide to listen, instead it can lead to the fear bringing fibs along. There’s no need to make our children scared or angry about doing chores and such. Some great positive reinforcement may be, “once you finish breakfast, we will go to the playground.” This is positive because instead of telling your child that you aren’t going to the playground, tell them they will if they finish the assigned task. However, if they still do not eat, that’s when you explain  how you won’t be going to the playground.

In addition to teaching your child right from wrong. There are also basic positive reinforcement ideas in order to motivate your young one. Giving praise is important, you want your child to know when they do something right. Only give praise when needed, however, you do not want the child to celebrate everything or the large completed tasks may not be as recognized. Having a reward system works, too. This way you aren’t celebrating every good task done, but still showing you are happy.

Reward system

To go into more detail about the reward system, there are several ways to set one up. For example, 10 stickers gets them a prize at the toy store. The reward system can work on potty training, bed time, or anything else you want your child to work on. The most important thing is to give your child the sticker or whatever you use immediately. Children do not have an exact sense of time yet, so they must understand exactly what is getting them this sticker.


Consequences are still OK to implement, but try to show the positive side first. In the past example, going to the playground is the reward for eating breakfast. Sometimes children do need a reward system in order to listen for what you would like them to do. The child needs to understand they won’t be going to the playground because they will get hungry due to not eating breakfast. Teaching the consequences of actions, but in a calm way will eventually show the message you are trying to get across to them. You aren’t telling them no to playground because you want to hold power over them, but because of the effect of not being hungry.



Glembocki, V. (n.d.). 5 Empowering Ways to Get Your Kids to Listen. Retrieved from


Rock, A. (n.d.). Encourage Good Behavior by Using Positive Reinforcement and Rewards.

Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-set-up-a-reward-system-for-children-2764631

Visit us at
4A Gill St Woburn, MA 01801

Global Children School

A Multilingual Early Education Center
4A Gill St Woburn, MA 01801