If only there was a magic wand for those times when your toddler gets frustrated. I am currently going through toddlerhood for the second time. Well, third if you count when I was THAT toddler. Combine that with the years I worked in a daycare, and I’ve had my fair share of experience with a wide variety of toddler behaviors. Here are a few tips I’ve found to be helpful in getting through your toddler’s “spirited” stage.
Routine, Routine, Routine
You’ve probably heard it before and I’m going to say it again—toddlers thrive on routine. Having a consistent schedule of when they nap, eat, snack and go to bed is the number-one most important thing you can do for your child. Toddlers are going through so many changes—from language development to fine tuning motor skills—that keeping a routine gives them something consistent and familiar, which will improve behaviors.
It’s important to start giving your child choices early in life where there isn’t a wrong choice. This way, they are learning to make their own decisions while always making the “right” choice. Here are some examples:
- Do you want an apple or banana for snack?
- You can walk holding my hand or I can carry you to the car.
- Would you like to wear your whale shirt or lion shirt?
Allowing your toddler to make choices will encourage him or her to be more independent while feeling as if he or she has control of the situation. Toddlers take pride in their choices and actions!
A major reason toddlers throw temper tantrums is because they can’t communicate their needs effectively. One of the most effective ways I’ve found to help a toddler communicate when they’re frustrated is to teach them to ask for help. If your child isn’t speaking enough to say “help” verbally, teach them to sign it. Toddlers get frustrated when they can’t complete a task or communicate their needs. Asking for help can prevent the tempter tantrums that come with frustration.
Take a Deep Breath
Relax and take a deep breath. Because toddlers are learning so much and struggling to communicate their needs, it’s important for you to stay calm. Let your toddler know it’s okay to get angry, but teach them acceptable ways to deal with their anger. Maybe it’s snuggling a stuffed animal or looking at a book. Give your toddler a way to calm down.
These toddler tactics have helped me stay sane through these fun, but volatile years. Every day presents a new adventure with a toddler! How have you have worked through temper tantrums at your house?