WHEN children reach a certain age, approximately just after the 18-month mark, they start to ‘test’ themselves, their environment and mostly their parents!

This phase can continue even when their second or even third and fourth birthday has been and gone.

As a parent/carer it is important to feel in control; this helps us remain calm and confident when the wheel comes off.

Children need boundaries and consequences both to feel secure as well as to learn to respect their world and the people in it.

A bored or under-stimulated child is bound to demonstrate behaviour we don’t want to see. This is key to your plan of action when dealing with this age group.

- Short periods of quality time are all your children need. Make it a rule that when you are with your child during this time mobile phones, tablets and any other distractions are removed. Children will escalate certain behaviours if they feel you are not giving them your full attention.

- Praise all the good behaviour that you see i.e. “good sharing”

- Share simple rules i.e. “use your inside voice” rather than “don’t shout.”

- Agree in advance any logical consequences for bad behaviour. Don’t fall into the trap of threatening consequences that are unrealistic i.e. “you are never playing out again!”

- Make sure you see the logical consequence through. If you say you are going to remove the drink when children are not drinking it properly, then do so.

- Move on and do something positive after the consequence has been adhered to.

See: www.parentandbabycoach.co.uk

NEXT WEEK: Tantrums - how to remain calm and confident when they occur.