My son is almost 27 months old. Focusing on the stuff I want him to do is working really well. He is currently the only kid in his "social circle" who does not use the word "no" as a general response/statement. He has used it a couple times to decline when I asked him if he wanted something. That to me seems really reasonable.
He is helpful in getting dressed and feeding himself. He (usually) is cooperative with having his teeth brushed. He holds my hand when we go in the street and will insist on holding other peoples hands if they are nearby. He also makes wonderful "piggy noises", has learned to blow "raspberries", and is generally a fun little guy. We're getting good with all sorts of things using positive reinforcement. And usually I can ignore the bad stuff and redirect with other behaviors I want.
But this evening I found it impossible to ignore him kicking a plate of stew left from lunch off the kitchen table. Management issue: I suppose I will have to improve my table clearing skills for the near future.
p.s. Lest you think my child is really a wild beast in a zoo, I confess that I don't think the plate was intentionally kicked. I was turned away finishing wrapping a gift for a cousin's birthday party and had left him happily eating pretzels in a chair so the dog couldn't "help." I believe he climbed on the table and began dancing (a behavior which has earned him a great deal of attention/reinforcement lately so why not try it out on the table) and accidentally dislodged said plate with all contents to the floor. And my response, while I couldn't ignore it, consisted of sitting him on the bottom step so I could clean up the mess without him running through it. Our "bottom down" cue worked pretty well since he seemed to still want to go dancing. Meanwhile, my husband will enjoy our son's impact on my housekeeping skills. I bet I even get clicked for the prompt cleaning!
Check out our previous blog posts about toddler tagging