How to be listened to when my child is less than 3 years old?



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Before that age, the brain is in training and still does not allow it to control its gestures, emotions and thoughts. However, although he knows he does not have to do anything, he finds it difficult to contain himself and needs the adult to teach him to control himself.

Why can not the little ones control themselves?

Before age 3, the child is focused on their needs. For him, only the sensations count, mainly the search for pleasure. Young people find it difficult to understand the needs of adults, such as the desire to dress quickly or to feed themselves.

Three years is also the era of affirmation. The child discovers that he is a complete person and can decide certain things. When denied, he struggles to deal with frustration and negative emotions.

Setting the limits to be heard

To help build and manage emotions and behaviors, it is important to set boundaries. A child who grows up with age-appropriate, clear rules develops sufficient emotional safety to help him structure and adapt his behavior.

The parent is best placed to define the rules

The fewer rules, the more effective they are and should be applied in the same way by both parents. To help your child respect you, here are some tips:

  • Make sure the rules are well understood by explaining and emphasizing what is important;
  • Stand up to your child and look into his eyes to speak clearly with him, placing a hand on his shoulder to attract his attention;
  • Offer several options for him to assert himself, while controlling the limits;
  • Praise him when he behaves well to encourage you to continue.

On the other hand, corporal punishment is humiliating to the child and gives him the feeling that he is worthless. A regularly affected child is more likely to be violent to others.

To know more: "Your child from 1 to 3 years: quarter to quarter, the two most important years of his life", by Anne Bacus, editions Pocket Marabout.

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