Magic words. Among the first words you teach your toddler are the classic magic words Please and Thank you. Children will tell you years later that saying “please” is the first manner they learned.
Greetings. Toddlers may hide behind your knee, but even the shyest can learn to say a clear “hello” with a smile. This skill takes practice, so help them along.
Conversation. Read books, go to different places, watch television together, and listen to music. Then talk about what you’ve just done together. Even if they have a small vocabulary, toddlers can respond to things you hold in common especially as they approach three year olds.
The children in this age group can manage a meal lasting twenty or so minutes.
– While they’re at the table with you, be sure to include them in the conversation.
– Give them soft foods they can manage with a spoon.
– Bibs are still their napkins.
– Food is for eating. Throwing or playing with food is a definite cue that they’ve reacher their limit and you need to end their meal. Be firm, and help them leave the table. They can still play in the same room.
Out and About
– During visits to the doctor or dentist for their checkups, children learn to wait. Read them a book or play a quiet game to show them strategies for waiting.
– Demonstrate courteous behavior with service people everywhere. Children learn by watching you.
– In the car, never negotiate when safety is at stake.
– Be firm about car seats.
– Keep a small bag of activities that your toddler can do while riding in a car.
– Yelling, screaming, crying, kicking – pull over and park. Begin driving only when your child has calmed down.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Did you notice how the chapter never mentions iPods, iPads or Smart Phones, as a way to “wait patiently” or as a reward, or a distraction in the car? Read books to your children, and let them look at books. It’s simple (you’re showing your child attention, while educating them at the same time).
I’m so happy for Emily and Jef! I knew after seeing Jef with Little R that they would click! I really, really hope that everything is happily ever after for them. And they’ll be right here in Charlotte! Supposedly, Jef’s already been spotted at the Barnes and Noble, and Dean and DeLuca near hear. I’ll be on the look-out, and snap a pic if I see him!