Creative Child

Handling Your Toddler’s “Defiance”

by Rebecca Eanes


If your toddler is throwing food or tossing his plate onto the floor, you can take the food away and offer something he can safely throw, like a soft ball. You can say, “You can’t throw food, but you can throw this ball! Watch it bounce!” This gives him an acceptable alternative and is a win-win for you both.

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Is your toddler heading for the wall with crayons? Tape a giant sheet of drawing paper to the wall. Is she pouring water out of the tub? Head outside with a plastic bin of water and some cups for pouring. Is she refusing to pick up toys? Make it a fun game. In time her upper brain will develop and she’ll learn more self-control. Until then, reduce power struggles and make home happier for both of you by setting the necessary limits while honoring her needs.

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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