Parenting a toddler is an exhilarating and humbling experience! By using the same phrases on a regular basis, you create a feeling of security and predictability into the sometimes topsy-turvy world of a toddler. Use these short, positively stated phrases to help your padawan understand what choices they have in any given moment. Deliver the phrases and redirections with open, expansive eye-contact and a calm, solid, loving voice for the best outcome. You can think of these phrases as a toolbox you can dive into all day long. You don’t have to re-invent your toddler parenting wheel each day. Post them in Grand Central Station (the kitchen?) until you have them down, and save your parental energy for goofing around with your little one.

Effective Toddler Talk includes phrases that are:

  • Just a few words long
  • Positively stated (say what you want to see/hear/feel)
  • Used consistently with as little variation as possible
  • Used by all of the people who regularly interact with your toddler
  • For the purpose of empowering your toddler to make a choice that works well for him and the greater good

Redirection Phrases:

Walking feet, please.

Use your words, please.

Voice off, please.

Gentle hands, please.

We clean up after ourselves.

We speak kindly.

We cooperate, please __________________.

We keep our hands to ourselves.

Please keep your feet on the ground.

Please keep your feet by my feet.

Please use your inside voice.

Please look at me.

Please make a choice that will work well for you and the greater good.

Please listen.

What can you do about that?

Try that again, please.

Please tell me what you want.

How can I help?