Cath Knijnenburg from Ninderry, with daughters Amy, 5, and Pippa, 3, believes explaining to young kids about emotions helps them as they grow older.
Cath Knijnenburg from Ninderry, with daughters Amy, 5, and Pippa, 3, believes explaining to young kids about emotions helps them as they grow older. Iain Curry

Toddler taming in university's sights

NEW "Australian-first" research believes to have found the secret to taming temperamental two-year-olds.

Queensland University of Technology researchers say the answer it to teach toddlers "self-control" and they will go on to become "nicer six-year-olds".

Faculty of Education PhD researcher Kate Williams says even "highly reactive children can be taught positive behaviours".

"So if you only do one thing, coach self-regulation with her child," she said.

Self-regulation is defined as "the ability to adapt your emotional, physical and mental state to a task or situation".

Ninderry parents, Catherine and Nick Knijnenburg adopted a different approach in raising their daughter, Amy, 5, and Pippa, 3.

Mrs Knijnenburg said she was a "big believer in preparedness".

"I brief my kids every time we go somewhere on where we are going, what's going to happen, who will be there and what my expectations are," she said.

"This plays a big part in them being able to understand and be prepared themselves."

So far, this technique seems to be paying off with Amy, a prep student at Coolum Beach Christian College, "good at self-regulation".

Mrs Knijnenburg said while the QUT research was good, it was import to recognise it is "just research".

"Sometimes so much pressure is put on parents into feeling like they are not doing a great job."



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