Three-year-old Little Jo is playing with his trains. You need him to get ready to bathe.
Want to interrupt your child (and need him to do something)?
Stop what YOU are doing. Avoid shouting out your instructions. You can move within an arm's length instead of saying it out loud.
Get down to eye- level or lower. Use your child’s name, and ensure you have his attention.
Say the instruction with a time frame (mind the milestone when you give them).
Wow, the trains run fast?
J? Look at Mama. We will take a bath in 5 minutes, okay? Mama will call you again!
After some time, come back to him and say, ‘It’s time to - .
Allow time to cooperate, with about 5 seconds of hesitation.
Look at Mama, please, Thomas the Train, look at Mama also. We will take a bath and then ride the car, okay?
If he goes, praise your little one's behavior.
Great listening, J. After we take a bath, we dress up and ride the car to see Grandma. Hooray!
If it still lets on
If not followed, be prepared to take away a toy or remove your little one from the situation.
Don’t wait for 2 or 3 times. Do it immediately. Timing is everything!
Act quickly, get his attention and remind the agreed rule.
Here, it is important to remember that we don't grab our little one, or grab the thing that pre-occupies him. Always say what's coming and what's coming next if so and so happen.
If it escalates. . .
If the situation escalates when you take away something, brace yourself. Get ready for it; ignore the protests, stop from explaining or debating.
Don’t repeat your point, and don’t receive any attention.
Act calm and firm (THIS IS CRUCIAL!). Take charge and believe that you are. If your child is kicking or prying your hands loose, pick him up gently, and quietly and say, 'Sorry, I know you are having a difficult time/ I can see you’re upset, we will wait together until you’re ready, okay?'
Ignore all misbehavior during the time-out. You can hold him and sit him on your lap for now. Don't expect that he will sit nicely and be agreeable soon.
Keep track how often you use this, and how long it takes before they calm down. It should lessen and lessen in the first few weeks.
Attack!!! . . . No, I mean, good luck, Mom and Dad!