No nose picking

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Hands up anyone who can say, 'Cross my heart and hope to die, I never, ever pick my nose.' Anyone? So let's not confuse our children! What we need to do is teach them when it's definitely not the time or place.

The problem of course is that 'contrary trait' so many young children possess. You could try reverse psychology and say, 'I want to see that finger up that nose right now,' but it doesn't really send the right message, does it?

One tactic that works for me is to say, 'If you're to continue doing that, you won't be getting any pudding' ? on the grounds that she's already eaten!

From then on, if the offender were to be spotted, the finger would be withdrawn as opposed to being defiantly stuck further up.

Shan't! Won't! No!

Shan't' runs a close second to 'no' in many children's vocabulary, whether it's a refusal to wear a hat, leave the park or go to bed.

My friend, Cathy, recalls one summer's day when her 3-year-old refused to come inside unless her pet worms could come too. 'No way was that happening, so she sat in the garden all afternoon and eventually fell asleep,' says Cathy. 'When she woke up, the worms had gone.'

It's not always that easy though, so maybe we should try to avoid making an issue unless it's really important. If your toddler wants to go shopping in a Batman outfit and sparkly slippers, why not just go along with it? Choose your battles.

Dealing with tantrums

Rule one: remember that anyone watching will be full of sympathy and understanding and if they're not, then they should be!

Rule two: don't think of your child as a screaming heap of embarrassment but as a lively individual with a mind of her own.

Continued below...

Rule three: this is psychological blackmail and, if you give in, the demands will continue. Remember that revenge is a dish best served cold, so make a mental note and store it away to use to embarrass your child at some later date, such as the first time she brings her boyfriend round for tea.

All pages in this article

  1. 1. Why naughty is normal
  1. 2. No nose picking

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