We all know that parenting a toddler can be challenging. The constant defiance, arguments, and stubbornness can be tiring. You want to teach them all the valuable lessons and teach them to be kind, respectful children, but sometimes you and your toddler have rough days. On those rough and challenging days, give these five tactics a go!
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The world is still a relatively new place for toddlers. They are learning how to navigate themselves through the world around them. They are learning where they fit in with their siblings, their friends and with you. Every day is a new lesson for them and a new chance to learn.
Since everything is still so new to toddlers, when there is even the slightest change from something that they had previously done, it can be extremely upsetting to them. For example, if you let your toddler have pancakes with syrup one morning and then tell them the next morning that they can only have cereal with no real explanation, then they will probably be very confused and have a meltdown.
But if you explain to them that they cannot have pancakes because you are out of the pancake mix and tell them that you will get more at the store, and then offer the cereal as an alternative, you are more likely to avoid a meltdown.
As adults, we tend to think that we can just our toddlers what they will do, will eat, etc. without giving our toddlers much thought when it comes to the details. But the details are where a toddler’s day is made. By providing more information and taking the time to explain your decisions or why the schedule needs to change on a given day is extremely important to your toddler.
Not only will this help minimize tantrums, but it also shows your toddler that you respect them enough to include them in how you are planning the day and the choices that you are making for them.
Your boundaries are walls – don’t move them just because your toddler gets upset with the rules
Once you set a rule, or a boundary, don’t budge. Think of your rules like they are walls of a house. If your toddler throws a fit because they want to stay up way past bed time, don’t give it. Still enforce their bedtime.
These types of tantrums or meltdowns are a power struggle between you and your toddler. Your toddler wants to be in control and in charge of what is happening, but you need to make sure that they know that you are actually the one in charge. You mustn’t give in when they whine or cry to get their way.
Stand your ground and keep your walls firm. I promise that is what your toddler truly desires from you – to know that they home is safe, stable and that the rules don’t change.
Don’t let all the boundary testing get to you
It can be hard to keep your cool when your toddler is constantly testing all their boundaries. That is just part of being a toddler and learning.
During this trying and sometimes frustrating stage with your toddler, make sure that you are taking time to care for yourself. Don’t skip showers and try your best to have a little quiet time or down time when your babe is asleep.
Your own self-care is just as important in you parenting and disciplining your toddler as having rules for your toddler is.
Offer different choices
Toddlers often get very frustrated when they are just told no to something that they want to do. Instead, offer them a different choice. If they are trying to wear sandals out of the house when it is raining, offer them boots or tennis shoes and let them make the decision between two appropriate shoes of which one they want to wear. This allows them to feel like they are still in control and getting to make decisions for themselves and be independent, while also allowing you to get what you want in a given situation.
Choices are key when it comes to toddlers. Just make sure that you are ok with the 2 choices that you are offering them so that no matter which choice they make, everyone is happy.
Have a schedule that works for you and not just for your kids
A schedule for your little ones is a great idea! It allows them to know what they can expect from their day and is often reassuring to your little ones, but you need to make sure that whatever schedule you create for your children also works for you. You can’t have your entire day revolve around what the kids want to do. You need to build in the structure to make sure that you get time for yourself, time for your errands, house work, etc. so that you don’t completely lose your mind being at your toddler beckon call 24/7.
Have you joined my Facebook Group, Parenting With Purpose, yet? We’d love to have you join the amazing groups of moms over there!