What a Toddler Can Teach You About Behaviour Modification

My son is beginning to learn the art of behaviour modification…

There have been a few incidents lately when Gavin had been starting to act up.  It was nothing serious – no temper tantrums or anything big, just little minor actions that require that “warning voice”.  Anyway, it appears that not only does Gavin now recognise that voice, but he also tries to turn Mummy around with comments like:

“Mummy, you look so happy!”


“Mummy, you so proud of me!”

Although lately he seems to favour the second comment over the first.  I think he thinks it works better than the first one.  Or perhaps it was because I kept asking him, “Do I look happy?  Do you think I’m happy?  Are you sure I’m happy?”

Whereas I couldn’t exactly deny that I was proud of him.  Although I have turned it around by saying:

“Yes, Gavin.  I am proud of you.  Especially when you show me you can listen to Mummy and behave really well.”

It hasn’t always worked but it has on occasion.

Sometime back, I met up with an ex-colleague who is also a mother.  Her daughter is a few years old than Gavin and she was telling me that as they get older, it just gets more difficult because they can argue, they can bargain, and they get very clever with words.  I suppose this is only just the beginning?


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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