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Parenting tips: How to improve toddler behavior
Toddlers are infamous for tantrums and other behavior issues. To encourage listening and cooperation, follow these parenting tips.By Mayo Clinic staff
Life can be frustrating for toddlers. Though often eager to show their independence, toddlers may not be able to move as swiftly as they'd like or effectively communicate their needs. This combination can easily lead to tantrums and misbehavior. But you can teach your toddler to behave well by providing love, attention, praise, encouragement and a degree of routine. Consider these practical parenting tips.
Show your love
Positive attention tops the list of parenting tips for toddlers. Make sure your displays of affection for your child outnumber any consequences or punishments. Hugs, kisses and good-natured roughhousing reassure your child of your love. Frequent praise and attention also can motivate your toddler to follow the rules.
Accept your child
As your child grows, he or she will display certain personality traits. Some of these are learned, others genetic. Respect your child's developing individuality and don't expect him or her to be just like you. While you're likely to notice certain features of your child's temperament, avoid labeling these features — which can encourage bad behavior. Instead, nurture your child's personality by finding ways to help him or her feel confident. A strong-willed child, for instance, has perseverance. Build on your child's strength by encouraging him or her to play with a challenging toy.
Rather than overloading your child with rules from the outset — which may frustrate him or her — prioritize those geared toward safety first and then gradually add rules to your list over time. Help your toddler follow the rules by childproofing your home and eliminating as many temptations as possible.Next page
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