Reducing Irritating Behaviours

Rosalie toddler behaviour

Is your toddler whining and whingeing all day long? Are you sick of it? Probably! Would you like to know how to get them to stop doing it?

One of the most successful ways of getting rid of unwanted behaviours is to use the psychological behavioural technique of ignoring! Yes really … ignoring. It works really quickly and is highly effective.

A mum I was visiting recently had tried this on her child but she felt like she was being a bad mum doing it. No I said, you’ve actually used a tried and tested psychological technique and yes, it worked really well for her. All you do is ignore.

This means:

  • No eye contact (read a book or a newspaper if you need to concentrate on something)
  • No talking (not even to say ‘I’m ignoring you’ – all this does is reinforce the behaviour you’re trying to get rid of!)
  • No physical contact. If they’re following you into the bedroom, walk around them and walk from room to room (purposefully) till it stops.

You need to be aware that once you start using the ignoring technique you need to be able to see it through. You may find that your toddler will escalate his/her behaviour (up the ante) once you start ignoring, as his behaviour hasn’t got him what he wants. Stick to your plan. It will work. Give it a go, it’s one of the best ways of getting rid of those annoying little behaviours. You’re depriving them of the attention they are looking for. It’s a winner!

Here’s a good read that goes into more detail and provides a really helpful guide on what to ask yourself before deciding to ignore behaviour …

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Nurture Parenting's Karen Faulkner is a baby sleep and toddler expert who brings calm and sleep into families and gives parents their confidence back. Cerris Pty Ltd trading as Nurture Parenting - ABN 42 623 216 384 - Sydney, Australia

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