Like most other children his age, Leo loves a tantrum. If we can get through the day and he only has two meltdowns then I consider that to be a very, very good day.
Sometimes Leo breaks down over silly little things like snapping a biscuit in half or a crayon not being the right colour. These tantrums I can cope with. I can’t cope with Leo’s deliberate bad behaviour though. Most of the time Leo is as good as gold and an absolute joy but, being 2, disobedience and naughtiness are kind or part of the territory. There have been so many occasions where Leo has gone to do something he is not allowed to do, I have said ‘no’ and he has done it anyway, while giving me a mischievous grin.
Parenting books, the ever knowledgeable Super Nanny and family and friends all offer advice on how to deal with bad behaviour and discipline (hate that word!) your toddler. Recently, Oli and I have been attempting the 1-2-3 approach. Giving Leo a simple 3 second warning to stop whatever he is doing/thinking of doing. The idea is, you start counting, child takes it as a warning and stops. Yeaa, that doesn’t happen with Leo. Ever.
There are 3 reasons why the 1 2 3 warning doesn’t work for me..
1. It becomes a counting game – I say ‘1’ and Leo responds ‘Is it 10?’ or ‘2 mummy!’. It kind of takes the seriousness away from the warning if Leo decides to make it a game.
2. It becomes a countdown to naughtiness – I start counting and Leo shouts ‘1,2,3,4,5!’ as fast as he can and then throws his plate on the floor or continues to try and hit the cat.
3. I don’t know what happens after 3 – The main problem with this method, it’s fatal flaw if you will, is I don’t know what I am supposed to do when I get to 3. The few times I have managed to make it to 3 without any of the above happening, Leo and I are left staring blankly at each other. If he stops then is that it? Have I succeeded and nothing happens after 3? What if he carries on being naughty and I have finished counting, what happens then?
This method is not as simple as it sounds. It most certainly isn’t as easy as 1-2-3!
Do you use the 1 2 3 warning with your kids? Does it work for you? If you have any advice for me on how to deal with a naughty toddler please share in the comments, I will be forever grateful.
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