"Stop a screaming fit before it starts by saying, 'Look, there's a dog outside! Oh, it's gone'," says Dr Green. "Diversion is your greatest weapon. It may be a little dishonest, but it can save your sanity."
"Turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to as much squabbling as you possibly can," advises Dr Green. "It's amazing how few fights take place without an audience!"
Toddlers are by nature noisy, dirty, messy and accident-prone. "I used to get really wound up by the way more of Nathan's dinner ends up on the floor than in his mouth," says Sue Price, mum to Nathan, two. "But then I realised he's not doing it on purpose. It's silly to expect a two-year-old to handle cutlery like an adult."
'No!' is an important word for all parents, but if you overuse it, it quickly loses its impact. A child can become bored by an endless stream of 'nos' and if he learns early on to ignore the word 'no', you'll have a much more difficult time establishing your authority. How can you turn it around? Swap the 'no' for a 'yes'. So, for example, change "No, you can't have a biscuit now" to "Yes, you can have a biscuit after lunch".
If you're stuck on picking up on every single thing your child does wrong, you'll create a child who has no faith in himself and if he can't ever please you, he'll stop trying.
Sometimes we can be so focused on what our children are doing wrong, we don't notice when they do things right. "Praise your child when he co-operates and acts kindly, when he's quiet or when he plays on his own," says Tracy Hogg, author of Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers. "Make the good moments last by acknowledging them."
Offer options that produce the result you're after! So, suggests Tracy, instead of saying, "If you don't put on your coat, we won't go to the park", say, "Which coat do you want to wear to the park, the red one or the blue one?"
"It's easy to spend your days barking orders at your kids and forget to enjoy their amazing enthusiasm for life," says Emily White, mum to Ben, three, and Joe, two. "I ensure I spend at least 10 minutes a day being a kid with them."
If you ignore provocative behaviour, chances are it will go away. "Jack has been told many times not to pick the leaves off the shrubs in our yard," says Jenny, whose son is two. "But he keeps on doing it, looking over the whole time to check I'm watching. I take no notice now; he's just trying to get a reaction."