Parents.tv has tips to turn the terrible twos into terrific twos through communication.
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Julie: Look familiar? Well you may think it's too good to be true but pediatrician and child development expert Dr. Harvey Carp can turn those terrible toos into terrific toos. The results; fewer tantrums, less yelling and a happy well-behaved child. Dr. Carp shares his wisdom in his book and DVD “The Happiest toddler On The Block” and now he is teaching us techniques to the big city moms, a group for mothers in Manhattan. Dr. Carp: Toddlers aren’t so much little children as they are little cavemen. They’re primitive. They’re uncivilized. Julie: And Dr. Carp says when a child is upset, he loses the ability to understand language so you should use short phrases, lots of repetitions and mirror their feelings. Dr. Carp: When you say to a to a young child “sweetheart I know you want the cookie but we can't eat cookies. It's diner time”, that’s like saying to an upset adult “that’s frustrating, isn’t it? I'm so sorry you feel that way. I would be upset too”. I mean you know you feel patronized, is this your baby— Julie: So Dr. Carp developed a technique for parents called “toddleries” which is just using a more primitive style of language. Dr. Carp: Say it's an 18-month-old who’s really upset and wanting to go outside. I would narrate back what they want. “outside, outside” with gestures, we might turn our voice and my face “outside, you want to go outside” You, outside now, you want to go outside now”, “you don’t want to wait”. Usually at that point after five or six repetitions, they look at you and they go “are you talking to me?” and then you can extend your conversation and say “no outside sweetheart, no outside, it's raining. You're going to get wet, we can't go outside. So come on, let’s play with your train.” Julie: As your child clams down, you're sentences can get longer. Dr. Carp: What I'm talking about is joining with your child and letting them know I get it. I care about your feelings. I'm interested in your feelings. I may not be able to do what you want but I care about it. And you know something that is a very, very, valuable thing to children or to adult. Julie: All right, toddleries doesn’t always work if your child’s tantrum doesn’t stop, Dr. Carp says walk away respectfully. Dr. Carp: And then you say you're so mad, you go ahead and cry and I'll be back in just a minute. And you literally turn away and ignore them for 30 seconds. So you're not an audience for the temper tantrum. Julie: One thing you should definitely remember is the importance of respect. Dr. Carp says that means giving your child your attention, valuing her opinion and meeting her desires when reasonable. You'll never know unless you try, so give Dr. Carp’s techniques a shot and you may be surprised of the changes you see in your toddler. For more advice on your little caveman, check out The Happiest Baby On The Block book and DVD. For Better TV, I'm Julie Claire.