Parenting a toddler can be difficult sometimes and it doesn’t help that they only listen to you 50 per cent of the time. It can get especially frustrating when you are trying to convey that they shouldn’t be doing something that might hurt them, like climbing up onto a chair or putting choking hazards in their mouth. To help you make a fresh start at communication with your toddler, here are some encouraging and positive phrases to improve toddler listening.
#1 “Please talk softly.”
Instead of telling your toddler to stop yelling or be quiet, show them the difference between being loud and being soft. As some kids are naturally louder than others, use the power of whisper to exhibit the act of talking softly. Combined with a gentle touch and eye contact, whispering can be an incredibly effective way to get kids to listen.
#2 “Please _________.”
Most children generally do not like the idea of being told no or to stop doing what they want to do. As such, do away with the negative form of communication and try asking for what you do want them to do instead. For example, “Please put away your toys” or “Please finish up your food”.
#3 “Thank you for listening to me.”
The best way to improving the way your toddler listens is to recognise that they have put in effort to listen to you. Many toddlers look to their parents for positive affirmation and reassurance so when you convey that they have done a good job by listening to you, it will help encourage them to listen attentively in the future.
#4 “Do you want to leave now or in ten minutes?”
This is particularly handy when dealing with your toddler who tends to take longer than usual to either get ready or leave a location like the toy store. By allowing them to have a choice, it gives your toddler the ability to take control of their own situation which in turn will benefit in them responding much better.
#5 “You are a hard worker.”
Another great way to encourage and build your child’s self-esteem is to validate that he or she is doing a good job without using the terms good boy, good girl or good job. By using the term ‘hard worker’, your toddler will be able to understand that effort is important, and that mummy and daddy recognises the effort as a positive thing. This will also help your toddler to instill the value of perseverance and determination as they grow up.
#6 “It’s okay to cry.”
It is inevitable to have toddlers making a fuss when they don’t get their way or if they are upset about something. Instead of telling your toddler to stop crying or stop freaking out, using this phase would show you how toddlers can respond to positive feedback. By empowering and teaching them that it is okay to embrace their feelings, you are helping them to build their self-esteem as they learn to handle their own feelings and emotions.