Four Tips To Help Toddlers Be Sweet With Their Feet

By: Elizabeth Verdick

  1. Watch for signs that a child may be frustrated, cranky, angry, tired, or distressed -- times when kicking is more likely to occur. Step in before kicking begins.

  2. Stay calm when tantrums happen. If a child is kicking and flailing, move him or her to a safe place so no one gets hurt. Holding a thrashing toddler may or may not help -- it depends on th echild. Do your best to speak softly and express empathy until the tantrum subsides.

  3. If a child kicks someone, you can use the phrase "Feet are not for kicking people." Say it gently and kindly, without yelling or scolding. you might add: "Ouch! Kicking hurts."

  4. Help energetic little ones stay active throughout the day so they're less likely to use their feet to hurt someone else. give them plenty of opportunities to run, jump, climb, dance, pedal tricycle -- and of course, kick a ball!

Reprinted with permission from Feet Are Not for Kicking by Elizabeth Verdick (Free Spirit Publishing, 2004).

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