We met up with 8 moms & 2 dads at Gymboree Play & Music for a two-hour workshop on Toddler Tantrums with Desiree Cluff of Rockababy, and enjoyed delicious treats & drinks from COBS Bread and Bean Around the World.
Desiree is a wonderful speaker, and she gave us a great mix of practical tips, anecdotes from her extensive experience working with families, and answers to specific questions about our own kids.
Desiree gave us detailed strategies to try to modify our toddlers’ behaviours in certain situations, including tantrums in public, rivalry with older & younger siblings, difficult meal-times, and more.
She also discussed the pros and cons of time-outs, and suggested a modified form of time-out that focuses on “not being able to play with someone (parent or sibling)” until the child decides to play nicely, rather than simply being told they’re bad and having to sit somewhere alone. The theory seems to be that a toddler is much more deeply affected by the consequence of taking away time with someone special to them, and modified behaviour is a much more likely result.
Desiree taught us particular language to use to give our children choices and to empower them to be responsible for their own actions. I tried this with my toddler this morning (“shoes or boots…you can choose or mommy will choose for you”), and it was the first time in many months that we got out of the house without a tantrum 🙂
We also learned about the power of positive praise, the importance of consistency and communication, and how to approach big transitions for our little ones (including getting rid of bottles & soothers, potty training, switching from crib to bed, and welcoming new siblings into the family).
For more advice on how to deal with your child’s behaviour, we highly recommend you get in touch with Desiree Cluff of Rockababy. And if potty training is your specific challenge, be sure to register for our Potty Training Basics Workshop with Desiree on Tuesday, March 12th (only 3 spots left!).