What are some good ways to get toddlers to behave and treat each other nicely. I am a toddler teacher and?

Question:have six toddlers and trying to get them to learn to treat each other nicely and do what I say. Is there a way to do that. time out just does not seem to work.

Answers:
Well, yes and no.

Some toddlers enjoy interacting with others in their play and some don't.

Developmentally, actively playing together formally may not come until the ages of three to five. Each child is different.

However, to diffuse problems with sharing toys, you will have to interfere quite frequently.

Time out does not really work for those under four all the time because their attention spans may be short and they are likely to forget why they were there and they may not have fully understood in the first place.

Step 1:When one toddler is picking on the other, remove the offender from the situation and distract each one. Bend down to the offending child's level. Firmly say "No, (insert kid's name here) That's not very nice. Now you'll have to play over here."

Take him or her to another area of the room or yard.

Then, let the others continue as they were and give the offender a "busy" toy.

Step 2:After a few minutes, go back to the offending child and get on his or her level again. Firmly, but calmly ask "Are you ready to share/play nice with everyone now"?

They usually say yes. If they say no, say "It looks like you need a few more minutes over here" and walk away. Repeat step 2 until the child is ready to cooperate.

This may need to be repeated over and over again, but, eventually the children will learn to get along with another. Children learn by repetitive actions.

Hope this helps.
I'm a mom to many, a nanny, and a student of Early Childhood Education on my way to opening my own center. I also write about parenting and early childhood education. :-)
Try bribing them a bit- like offering a small award for good behavior. Things like stickers really get them.
Toddlers do not share well, or take turns. Your job is to model acceptable behavior, distract children who are trying to take a toy from another child, and to give them the language they need to negotiate the world. Time out does not work because they are too young to understand the relationship between what they did and the time out. All it does it upset and frighten them. Make sure you have duplicates of favorite toys. Say things like, "Hands are not for hitting! Ask Mikie for the toy. Say.' May I have the...' and when he's done you may have it. here's another toy you can play with." The only way kids learn to be civilized is to see civility all around them. This is not about misbehaving, it is about learning the way the world works. You should not be punishing kids for doing the only things they know how to do. It will take many repetitions and some language development and maturity but they will learn.
I think EC Expert and Mommy (2 people above me) had fantastic advice. The only thing I would really change about their advice is the use of "no" or other such negative words. (Negative in the sense of "don't"...not negative in an ethical sense or anything.)

There seem to be two problems with this:
1) "No" is a toddler's power word. It's something that they see as a powerful thing to them. So if you're constantly saying "no" or "don't hit" to a toddler, it might turn into a power struggle for some.

2) They'll remember what you said to not do. Toddlers will remember the key words of what you're saying. If you say "don't hit" they'll likely remember the "hit" part. Find a positive way to say it. "We touch people gently" -- then model that behavior. Have the child model it as well. They'll remember "gently," where as before they remembered "hit."

They brought up other great points. Remove them from the situation, be firm if necessary, ask if they're ready to come back, having more than one of the favorite toys.

This community is fantastic.

Matt
I worked as a toddler teacher for 2 1/2 yrs and I taught them how to express them selves through sign language!! They learn better and they can tell you whats wrong in so many ways! They signed more, eat, play,drink,hurt,I love u, and milk!! They had fun and the parents loved the idea that their child can do it! give it a try, It worked for me!!

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