Oh no! A monster has invaded your sweet little toddler! Where did that loving, little angel go? Why is she constantly throwing fits? And she sure knows how to push your buttons! Welcome to the terrible two’s.
Your toddler is learning so many new and exciting things. She is realizing she has new limitations and is struggling to gain as much independence as she possibly can.
Personalities in children vary from child to child.
Every child is born with his or her own personality. Some children are strong willed, while others more easy going. Whatever your child’s personality is, it is your job to shape your child’s life through consistent, loving, and firm discipline.
Parenting help for toddlers
One of the most important things you can do to reduce temper tantrums and to keep your child safe is to eliminate temptation. If your toddler keeps getting into something, move it to a higher place. Of course, your toddler needs to learn that there are some things he just can’t have. He will have plenty of practice at learning this lesson through life. However, until he can learn how to handle the challenges life has to offer, maybe you can help him by creating a safer environment for him.
Begin each day with a routine. During this time, your child needs consistency. Create your routine starting with when she wakes up in the morning until she goes to bed at night. Remember to include meal times and nap times. Stick to the schedule as much as possible. The fewer changes you make in your toddler’s daily schedule, the fewer surprises your child will have to contend with. Fewer surprises will mean fewer tantrums!
oGive your toddler as much independence as possible but add limitations. Because your child is learning independence, allowing as much independence as possible will help him learn. Give him limited choices or small responsibilities as to not overwhelm him, such as putting on his own shoes and clothes, or picking out between two pair of pajamas. Allow him to be successful at as much as he can, this will give him confidence and increase his self-esteem.
oBe firm with your toddler. Although you want to allow him some freedom, it is your duty as a parent to set limitations. Your toddler looks up to you to make the grown up decisions that will affect his life. Once you have created a routine and you allow limited choices, you must be firm. Do not give into his demands. He will try to test those boundaries. It seems as if it is your child’s goal in life! You do not have to be mean to be firm. Just use a calm, serious voice and do not give in. This is a critical time in your relationship with your child. He is learning what he can and can’t get away with! And believe me, the older he gets, the smarter he will get at manipulating circumstances into his favor! If he knows he can push certain buttons to get what he wants now, imagine what he will be able to come up with in about ten years! And that time comes real fast!
oNever give in to a temper tantrum. It is one of the hardest things you will have to do during this stage of your toddler’s life. Your toddler will know exactly how to pull at your heart strings. And if pulling at your heart strings doesn’t work, she will go to the embarrassment tactic. You know the one, she asks for that stuffed animal for the hundredth time and for the hundredth time you have said “No!” Then she starts in with her screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. Until….you are so embarrassed or frustrated that you just give in! Don’t do it! All parents have been there before. Other parents know exactly what you need to do. Do not worry about what the other people are thinking. Once you give in, your toddler is more likely to throw more temper tantrums. Even if it takes them an hour or two, if they know you will give in, they can be relentless!
Parenting advice of discipline for toddlers:
Unfortunately, there will come a time that your toddler will have to be disciplined. Verbal communication is enough when your child has simply made a mistake or had an accident. You can use this mistake as a learning experience for your toddler. Show him another way he could have handled a situation.
Punishment should follow correcting a bad behavior or bad attitude. The purpose of punishment is not to crush a child’s inner spirit. It is to begin to teach him that his actions have consequences. This is a time for him to learn his own self control. This will give him the knowledge to learn how to control his actions. As a general rule, you would put your toddler in time-out for one minute per year of age. However, for a toddler, you might try 30 second time-outs to see what works for your child. The point of time out is to reflect on what he has done, and to regain self control not to scare your toddler.
Change your perspective
To help you get through the trying times, try to put things into perspective. A positive attitude can mean the difference between a happy home and a battle zone. Try to praise your child often. She is more likely to repeat this behavior if she knows it will make you happy. Remember those cute little things your child does that makes smile, like the little dance she does, or the squishy hugs. When you feel frustrated, take a time-out yourself and remind yourself of what makes your child so special to you. After all, your child is a blessing.
Dawn Lambie, mother of four and author. If you would like more free information on babies and toddlers, please visit her website at http://www.diaperyears.blogspot.com