Research has shown that toddlers tantrum less and cooperate more when they feel more powerful. There are three key ways you can help your toddler experience herself as a person with healthy power in the world:
It may sound odd, but toddlers need daily experience with work to start thinking of themselves as competent people. Not burdensome work, but rather work in the spirit of Maria Montessori, or Tom Sawyer, who turned white-washing a fence into a reward.
Start with ordinary household tasks, not because he can really help you at this point -- he may well make a mess. But consider the benefits:
What kinds of household tasks?
The end result? Your toddler says "I did it!" and begins to think of herself -- and to become -- a more capable, powerful person. And you get a more delightful toddler.
Dr. Laura Markham