Sometimes parents want to change toddler behavior and they don’t know where to begin. During the toddler years you could just ask your child to make a certain change, and it might work. but often it does not. usually at this stage I notice parents tend to try the logic approach. They explain things to their toddler hoping that this will cause a change in behavior.
Logic doesn’t work very well with toddlers. but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your message across. There are many ways to change toddler behavior without resorting to the ineffective use of logic. I specialize in teaching parents how to use language patterns to create change in toddlers. but aside from language patterns, one method is to simply tell as story.
Story telling is as old as mankind. Everybody can relate to a story. think of the last time you watched a movie that really had an effect on you. a movie is just a motion picture version of a story (rather than being purely spoken words).
Toddlers respond beautifully to stories. if you craft your story effectively, it can have a wonderful hypnotic effect in terms of its ability to implant a message within your child’s brain.
Here is a simple example: Let’s pretend your child doesn’t eat well at meal time but constantly wants to snack on junk food. you might naturally be tempted to explain the negative health consequences of not eating well. Instead, you could make up a very simple story about a little boy you once knew.
This little boy would eat a lot of junk food during the day, but at meal time he would always refuse what his parents prepared for him. the junk food tasted good, but it made him always feel tired and he got sick a lot. He missed out on a lot of the fun things that his friends were able to do. One day, his best friend in the whole world came to him and said you really need to eat healthy foods at meal time. It was a good thing that his best friend told him this. He listened to what his best friend said, and he started to feel so much better.
A few fine points that are important for telling stories:
1) use plenty of detail so that your child is really engaged in listening. make up parts of the story that you know will interest your child.
2) Feel free to be really obvious about the point of the story. you don’t need to make it subtle as you would if you were doing this to an adult.
3) Tell the story at a non-related time. So you wouldn’t tell this eating story right at meal time. you might tell it while getting dressed for school, or while giving your toddler a bath. this is why you can afford to be so obvious in terms of the lesson you’re trying to get across.
4) do not explain it. this is key. never (ever) explain the message in your story. just trust the unconscious mind’s ability to understand the message.
5) use stories to help you create change over a period of time. Don’t expect an instant change. if the change is big, then tell several related stories over a period of days. plan them in advance and deliver them with real emotion.