Children at this young age are often interested in doing things that they can’t really do appropriately. Ie. They want to touch baby sister, but even when you show them 3 times how to do so gently, they might still slam their hand down over baby’s face. Taking time to teach the appropriate skill is important (ie. “Here is how we can touch sister gently…” – and show them and guide their hand to do it gently). However, some children at this age might not have the muscle control or self-control to be able to follow through appropriately. There is so much still developing in their little neurons that they may not fully understand the speed and location of their touching sister is not the same as when mom demonstrated. In this case, after a few tries, it is totally okay to distract the child and redirect them to another activity that they can do appropriately. This might mean redirecting to a toy, an activity, or a different way to interact with sister: “Hey, could you bring over that toy for sister?” All are effective ways to use distract & redirect with a toddler. It’s also the perfect alternative for using “No” too often. Instead of “no”, you can just focus on distracting and redirecting the child to what they CAN do. I will write some more on this soon because it’s been on my mind a lot lately.
Read more about this great parenting tool: Distraction & Redirection here. And check out the great Positive Discipline Books that are available to help you learn and use similar tools. Cheers to your happy toddler parenting!