Adjusting to having a new sibling can be a tricky transition for a toddler. I have two little ones under two. For my 20-month-old, the adjustment to gaining a brother has been a little emotional. I have noticed her getting sad or frustrated more easily than ever before. When this happens, she looks for an outlet to express these feelings. Sometimes, the sadness or frustration comes out in hitting, screaming, or other negative ways. This behavior is very unusual for her, so I quickly realized she was looking for a way to release her new emotions.
If there is one thing I learned during my time as an educator, it is that focusing on positive behavior is far more effective, than only responding to negative behavior. In order to do this, I must be proactive not reactive. This is what inspired the “10 Ways I Can Be Kind” chart. Children want to be kind and in control of their feelings, they just need help sometimes to do so.
Click here for to sign up for your free copy of the Kindness Chart.
My plan is to review this chart with my daughter several times throughout the day, until I am confident she has them memorized. It is something I will keep fun and lighthearted. I will tell her that this paper is just for her. She can decorate it, put it in a special spot, do anything to it to make it personal. Also, there are two open spots at the bottom of the chart. Those are there so that the chart can be individualized. For now, I will pick two ideas that I know my daughter is good at doing. However, as we review the concept of kindness more and more, I am hoping she will be able to pick ideas of her own to fill in those spots. I keep the chart in a clear sheet protector, so we can use a dry erase marker to write in different ideas. I also have several copies of this chart readily available around the house.
My goal is not to stop the negative feelings, but rather to redirect the negative behaviors that sometimes follow. After reviewing the chart over and over, my hope is that when my daughter is tempted to act out with negative behavior, I can ask her if instead there is something she would like to do from the chart. Wish us luck!
P.S. If you enjoyed this, you may also like “7 Parenting Tips from the Book Loving Our Kids on Purpose.”