Toddlers & Preschoolers
They test limits by exploring their environments, resisting “no” messages from parents, and learn early that tantrums either result in getting their way or not, quickly learning who's in control.
It is essential that parents set limits without stifling their children’s creativity. Saying “no” to dangerous activities or aggression is a must; but, redirecting behavior and offering choices may be easier and more productive in other situations.
Parents may feel it is their responsibility to maintain their children’s happiness – but this is a dangerous trap that should be avoided. They must be allowed to make mistakes as they try new skills, experience frustration as a parent says, “no” and learn limits to aggressive or unacceptable behaviors. View our Time Out handout for additional information.
Offering choices can help decrease the tantrums associated with frustration as well as provide your children with the opportunity to begin making decisions.
Some self-help skills toddlers can do include washing/drying hands, drinking from a cup, throwing dirty items in a trash bin, and getting dressed/undressed (you may want to choose clothes with easy fasteners/velcro to help with this)