Harvey Karp's Discipline Strategies

Dr. Harvey Karp's Discipline Strategies

Pediatrician, Parents advisor, and author of "The Happiest Toddler" shares the best ways to turn the terrible twos into the terrific twos.

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-Look familiar? Well, you may think it's too good to be true, but Pediatrician and Child Development expert Dr. Harvey Karp can turn those terrible two's into terrific two's. The results? Fewer tantrums, less yelling and a happy well-behaved child. Dr. Karp shares his wisdom in his book and DVD, The Happiest Toddler on the Block. And now he's teaching his techniques to the Big City Moms, a group for mothers in Manhattan. -The toddlers aren't so much littler children as they are little caveman. They're primitive. They are uncivilized. -And Dr. Karp says, when the child is upset, he losses the ability to understand language. So, you should use short phrases. Lots of repetition and mirror their feelings. -When you say to a young child, sweetheart, I know you want the cookie, but we can't eat cookies. It's dinner time. That's like saying to an upset adult. Well, that's frustrating, isn't it. I'm so sorry, you feel about like-- I would be upset too. I mean, you know, he feel patronized. Is this should be [unk]. See? That's silly. Big boys don't have dolly. -So, Dr. Karp developed the technique for parents called Toddler-ese, which is just using a more primitive style of language. Let's say, it's an 18-month old. He was really upset in the morning to go outside. I would narrate back what they want. Outside, outside-- with gestures, with my tone of voice and my face. Outside, you wanna go outside? You-- outside now. You wanna go outside now? You don't wanna wait. Usually at that point, after 5 or 6 repetitions, they look at you and they go-- are you talking to me? And then, you can extend your conversation and say, no outside sweetheart. No outside. It's raining. You're gonna get wet. We can't go outside. So, come on, let's play with your train. -As your child calms down, your sentences can get longer. -What I'm talking about is joining with your child and letting them know. I get it. I care about your feelings. I'm interested in your feelings. I may not be able to do what you want, but I care about it. And you noticed something that is a very valuable thing to the children or to the adult. Good job, now give me five. -All right, toddler-ese doesn't always work if your child's tantrum doesn't stop. Dr. Karp says, walk away respectfully. -But then you say, you're so mad, you go ahead and cry. And I'll be back in just a minute. And you literally turn away and ignore them for 30 seconds. So you're not an audience for the temper tension. -One thing you should definitely remember is the importance of respect. Dr. Karp says, that means giving your child your attention, evaluating her opinion and meeting her desires when reasonable. You'll never know unless you try, so give Dr. Karp's techniques a shot and you may be surprised if the changes you see in your toddler. For more advice on your little caveman, check out the Happiest Baby on the Block book and DVD. For Better TV, I'm Juli Auclair. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families, our lives.