The switch from having a cute baby with all smiles to handling a raging toddler having inexplicable hunger strikes and frequent meltdowns can surely be an overwhelming experience for parents. We all have heard this phrase ‘terrible twos’, but doctors say that this tough period can begin as early as 1 year and can go on till your child is 5 years old. If you are sailing in this boat, then read to know how you can manage this phase with ease.
Toddlerhood is full of physical and intellectual growth. Your child will learn to walk, talk, have opinions, learn about their emotions, and understand how to share things. During this phase, your little one will explore his/her surroundings and would want to do things on their own terms. This is just normal behavior you can expect from your toddler, however as your child’s physical, verbal and emotional skills are not properly developed at this stage, they can easily get frustrated if they are unable to perform a task or communicate properly. When your child’s desire to do a certain thing does not align with their ability, they end up throwing tantrums and can even resort to unruly behavior.
Now that you know what your child is going through during this tough phase, let me share 5 ways to manage terrible twos. Have a look!
1. Your child’s schedule is important:
As a parent, you must ensure that your child follows proper sleep and meal schedules. This goes a long way in handling toddler tantrums. Your child might not behave nicely if they are tired or are feeling hungry. If your child takes a nap in the afternoon, then make sure it is at the same time daily because it helps in setting a routine for your little one and also plans outings with your child accordingly. Your child bedtime should also be more or less at the same time. You can do a storytelling session or just say a prayer before they sleep at night. A good night’s sleep will ensure that your child will wake up happy and fresh in the morning. You can make mealtimes fun and interesting for your child by getting colorful dinner sets from The Mom Store. If you are planning to go out during your child mealtime, then make sure you carry healthy food items plus drinks, so that your toddler eats at the same time. Sticking to a schedule helps greatly in managing this phase.
2. Praise your child and be calm:
If your child behaves in a manner you approve, then make it a point to praise them. However, if your child is doing something which you feel is not right and wants to discourage, then try and ignore. Avoid yelling or spanking your child, because as a parent, you would like your little one to learn about nonviolent behavior. Distract your child when they begin to whine by pointing out something interesting or funny. I know we tend to lose our cool when our kids behave in a manner that we don’t like but this will make the situation worse. When the child sees their parents getting upset, it will escalate their emotions also. On the other hand, if they see their parents calm and relaxed, they will in time learn to model their parent’s behavior.
3. Let your little one have some control:
Your child will feel confident and independent if you let them have some control. You can do this by letting them choose and decide over daily things. For instance, you can say, “Would you like to eat a banana or an apple for breakfast today?” Your child will surely feel confident when they know their choice is also important. As a parent, you need to give your child some kind of freedom to make choices from an early age. This will go a long way in building their confidence and also their decision-making abilities.
4. Don’t give in at all:
As a parent, you need to set your limits and, most importantly be consistent when it comes to handling your toddler. So, if your child has a meltdown in the departmental store because you are not buying them chocolate, just maintain your calm and take your child away from that place. You are not the only parent who would have left a store like this, but the main thing is that you should not give in. Your child will eventually learn that their mom or dad does not approve of certain behaviors. It will be tough for you to manage the situation in the beginning, but with time, you will also realize that this strategy is extremely important for handling your toddler’s tantrums.
5. Patience is the key:
Kids have the tendency to feed off their parents’ stress, but you need to be calm and relaxed. You can take a deep breath or just count to 10; basically, do anything that helps you as a parent to keep your cool. You can do meditation or yoga daily as they help to relax the mind.
I am sure, after reading this blog, you will be able to manage this phase of toddlerhood with much ease. Tantrums are a part of a child’s development, and this is the way they show that they are frustrated or upset. Always remember, each child is different, and so is their reaction to a particular situation. I would advise never compare your child with their peers or cousins, and just give them time to adapt and learn. Your response to a particular situation plays a very important role when it comes to your child’s behavior. You should try to relax and be calm at all times. I know it is very tough at times, but trust me, your attitude matters a lot in managing this phase of toddlerhood. So, keep calm, mommy, and daddy dear and take each day as it comes. Wishing you good luck!