While it’s true that the toddler years can be demanding for parents, we believe they can also be highly rewarding. The first step is understanding toddler behavior. Toddlers really aren’t plotting to destroy your home or test your sanity. They’re merely trying to figure out a very big, very complicated world through trial and error and exploration.
BE PROACTIVE TO PREVENT TODDLER TANTRUMS
It might feel like your toddler is ruling the roost some days, but your child is actually counting on you for leadership. Instead of reacting to your child’s behavior, take a proactive parenting approach by pinpointing trouble spots and finding solutions. Toddlers have very little control over their lives, which can cause feelings of anxiety and frustration. They long for both security and independence. These conflicting needs are frequently a source of tantrums and negative behavior. To prevent toddler tantrums and help your child feel more secure, keep a fairly predictable schedule. Give your child advance notice before transitions, e.g., “We’re going to the store after breakfast” or “It’s almost time to clean up the toys.”your toddler’s quest for independence is a sign of healthy growth. Instead of saying “no”, give your child alternatives or choices whenever possible, e.g., “Would you like apples or pears for lunch?” Make your home toddler-friendly so your child can get toys and snacks as independently as possible. When making a request, don’t talk to your child across the room. Instead, kneel at your child’s eye level and quietly give directions. If your child refuses to comply, say, “Let’s do it together. I will help you.” Take your child’s hand and complete the task. In other words, treat your child with the same respect that you would give an adult. Over time, this approach sets a healthy, loving tone and rhythm for your relationship. Remember: your role as a parent is that of a leader – neither a dictator nor a pushover.