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Last July, Today’s Parent,  an online parenting magazine published an article by AJGpr client baby and toddler expert, Blythe Lipman entitled Toddlers Gone Wild!

Here it is – Enjoy!

Toddlers Gone Wild!

Why won’t my toddler listen? Are those words familiar? Toddlerhood is exciting! It’s a time when your little one is trying out his wings. He wants to do things by himself and doesn’t want you to tell or show him how to do it. But it’s your job to not only teach him about the world, but to set boundaries that will keep him safe during his exploration.

Remember, a toddler’s brain is like a sponge, he wants to know about everything. According to Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, children 18 months to 3 years old need to attain the developmental task of autonomy.

It is not uncommon for you to hear your toddler say “NO!” even when your toddler means YES. This is one way for them to assert their independence. The use of the “NO” word is a manifestation of your tots developing sense of autonomy.

And many times when you tell him no, he just won’t listen. So it can be a constant tug of war.

Here are a dozen tips to tame your toddler while making the world his oyster?

1. Set up ground rules and stick to them. Does he hold your hand while shopping? Does he brush his teeth after each meal? Your rules, the same way each time.

2. Repeat your request twice and remind your toddler what the consequence will be if he doesn’t listen and follow-through.

3. Be consistent no matter how tired you might be. Toddlers and surprises are the perfect mix for a meltdown. Knowing what to expect will make everyone’s life easier.

4. “No means No” it doesn’t mean maybe. If you need to give an explanation, use as few words as necessary. Most toddlers don’t hear more than the first five words anyway.

5. Don’t lose your cool or it’s all over. Toddlers are smart and they know how to push your buttons.

6. Talk to your hubby or partner and make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to your toddler. United you stand in front of your precious. Keep disagreements behind closed doors.

7. Use positive reinforcement with your toddler. Tell him what a great job he’s doing but don’t overdo it. He can’t and won’t hit the mark every time. It’s not only impossible but the perfect set-up for failure. Keep the gushing to a minimum.

8. When it’s time for bed, bath, school, etc. leave extra time to get ready and give your toddler a 10-minute heads up. Transition can be difficult at this age.

9. If he gives you a hard time and won’t listen, try this. Purchase a timer, set it and let him know when it rings it’s time to stop what he’s doing and move on to the next activity.

10. Make a sticker chart but keep it simple. Pick a task that he has a difficult time completing and give a sticker for each success. Five stickers earn a special treat like frozen yogurt, a Hershey’s kiss along with a hug will bring a smile. It’s not necessary to go to the toy store and spend lots of money.

11. As a last resort, make a time-out toy box and take away a favorite toy. Leave the toy in time-out until your toddler does what you asked. Sometimes an easier concept to understand than putting him in time-out.

12. There is nothing more important than being a good role model. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So when you see your toddler do something just like you, know in your heart that you are doing a great job!

Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions and author of two award-winning parenting books, Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions and Help! My Toddler Came Without Instructions.

You can hear Blythe host her weekly radio show Baby and Toddler Instructions every Wednesday, 11am EST.

Blythe is also available for in-home, video, and telephone consultations. Contact Blythe at or call her office (480)-510-1453. Become Blythe’s Fan on Facebook and follower her on Twitter.