When taking childcare training courses to earn or renew your CDA, you learn a wide range of tactics for educating and guiding children. If you work with toddlers, it might be helpful to learn specific strategies that can help you understand their specific developmental needs. Here's an overview of some of the essentials you need to know.
Toddlers and Defiance
Defiance is a very normal part of toddler development. Children between the ages of two and three start to use the word "no" often. Toddlers are not necessarily trying to "fight" against their caregivers, but they are starting to become aware of their own individuality. The word “no” gives them a feeling of control and confidence in that they are beginning to realize the power in expressing preferences and making choices.
When you work with children, it is critical to take childcare training courses that can help you understand these natural phases in a child's development.
Expressing Defiance and Asking Questions
Research shows that toddlers debate with their caretakers up to 25 times per hour, which translates to a toddler/caregiver interaction roughly every two minutes. As an educator, you need to be prepared for these scenarios as toddlers are constantly questioning their environment as their understanding of their place in it grows. In addition to this, children in this age group ask many questions throughout the day. They often ask “Why?” to construct more knowledge about the world around them.
As an educator, being able to balance the numerous daily questions from dozens of children at once is an important part of working with this particular age group. Unfortunately, it's impossible to address every question or every debate, but successful educators learn how to defer these issues in a way that doesn't undermine the child's natural curiosity or interest in the world. Childcare training courses help you to find that balance.
A Constructive Approach to Defiance
When dealing with defiance in particular, it can be helpful to show children constructive ways to express their desire for boundaries and independence. For instance, if a child is playing with a toy, another child grabs it, and the first child hits the second child, both children can be redirected. For example, the second child might be shown how to politely ask for the toy, and the first child might watch you model ways to calmly respond to that query.
As part of that process, leading by example is key. Act out the communication patterns and actions that you expect them to take with each other. This simple move can go a long way in keeping your classroom calm and motivating your children to be polite.
Ideally, you should take a positive approach with toddler defiance. Rather than telling the child what you don't want them to do, you should tell and show them what you do want them to do. For example, rather than stating for a child not to run in the classroom, say instead for them to walk inside and use running feet outside. In that same vein, praise and positive reinforcement of appropriate behavior is more effective and has a greater positive impact on the child, as opposed to just punishing them for incorrect behavior.
Childcare Training Courses for Working with Toddlers
There are specific childcare training courses that help early childhood educators work with this age group. In particular, you might consider the following courses:
- Creating Positive Outcomes From Problematic Behavior
- Taming Toddler Temper Tantrums
- Principles of Behavior Management I: What Do We Know?
- Principles of Behavior Management II: What Can We Do? Ten Big Ideas
- Helping Young Children Understand and Develop Rules
All of these courses provide ways for teachers to avoid overreacting, while also providing concrete ideas on how to allow various situations to unfold in a way that allows everyone involved to receive the best possible outcome.
To sign up for online childcare training courses today, contact ProSolutions Training. We offer an extensive catalog of online courses you can take from anywhere at any time.