As I’ve mentioned previously I’m an educator. I currently work with older toddlers at a day care. A lot of times you will hear myself or another teacher in the classroom redirecting a child to another activity. Redirection allows the child to change their focus to something else when they are: a) harming another child b) no longer engaged in activity c) not following directions. Those are a few reasons for redirection and there are definitely many other reasons for redirection.
In addition to redirection, there is also the opportunity to tell your child no. When you tell your child no it doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. No is a simple word in the English language that children can understand. What you should do is also accompany that no with an explanation. I tell my parents that they must expose their children to language, even if they think that they do not understand because eventually they will.
Language is a cool tool that we as adults abuse and take for granted, especially when it comes to communicating with our children. When using the word no an explanation should always follow and you must back up that no. Don’t ask your child to do something and get upset when they don’t want to comply because you asked them a question. “Do you want to wash your hands?” “Would you like to clean up?” If at the time you are saying this to your child and you know it is not a question, do not pose it to them as a question. Again, explain to them, You must wash your hands before you eat lunch so that you don’t get yucky germs on your food, germs will make you sick.
As you reiterate rules to your child, you will find yourself having to offer less explanations and offer simple reminders. Reminders or asking your child why or why not to see how they are processing a situation. When it seems that your child is understanding the information you are presenting them, I’m sure another challenge will be thrown your way. This is what parenting is all about, learning and growing with your child.