Put the Naughty Step On Time Out

Put the Naughty Step On Time Out 1 2 3

…25 per cent of our brain developed, so a toddler doesn’t have access to skills like reasoning, logical thinking or impulse control, which as adults we sometimes forget.’

By understanding a toddler’s behaviour, Victoria reveals it can help us to avoid certain situations. For example, if a toddler is hungry – their body experiences this as stress and releases adrenaline, which can make them feel anxious or aggressive and lead to tantrums. So rather than punishing them for the hormones flooding their tiny bodies, we can learn to avoid this situation by making sure they don’t get hungry.

The second stage is to look at how we treat our toddlers now can shape them for the rest of their lives: ‘At the moment, most of the work in this country focuses on short term goals, such as getting a child to sleep through the night, and a lot of the common strategies like a ‘time-out’ wholly focus on extinguishing the behaviour in the short term. What they don’t do, which is the bit we bring in, is looking at the long term goals. So for example, a common goal from parents is that they want their children to know they are always there for them. But with methods such as a time-out, you’re basically sending the child away every time they’re naughty, which is the equivalent of a parent giving their child the hand and saying: “You deal with your strong emotions, not me”. And actually, this is a really bad fit to longer term goals of your child thinking, ‘Mummy’s there for me no matter what’, because your child has had repetitive exposure to being sent away. So we really focus on looking at ways to make sure we meet the short and long term goals.’

‘Respectful parenting is purely treating our children with the respect that we treat other people’

At first glance, Toddler Calm’s approach may seem a bit soft. But Victoria emphasises that they are absolutely not in the business of giving in to toddler demands: ‘I think some people confuse the line between ‘respectful’ parenting and ‘permissive’ parenting, which is where you basically let your toddler do what it wants, and something we absolutely don’t advocate because we know that toddlers need strong boundaries to thrive. ‘One of the examples I give is: imagine you’re in the kitchen, and you’re crying because you’ve had a really bad day. Then your partner walks in, takes one look at you, and says: “Right, that’s it. I’ll give you one chance and if you don’t stop you’re going to sit on the stairs.” And parents say things like, “God, I’d plot revenge and get even more angry,” which then helps them make the link that if they put their…

Put the Naughty Step On Time Out 1 2 3

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