How to Survive the Toddler Years…
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Imagine, just for a second, the day of a toddler. Someone is telling you what to do 24 hours a day.
Sit down. Eat your food. Don’t touch that! Put that back! Go to sleep!
And just as you or I would, our toddlers resist. They are growing and exploring their independence and decision making skills and being told “no” all the time is difficult for them, just as it would be for us. Sometimes I think my toddler is being a little
asshole brat. Other times, I think she’s handling things better than I would.
I am by no means the parenting expert or behavioral specialist. I speak from experience and what has worked for me. As with any type of advice, take these ideas and modify them to work for you.
Give them options. This or that? You’ve picked two activities, outfits, dinner options, etc that are ok with you, yet they feel like they are in control of their situation.
Distraction. When their attitude goes south and a tantrum is about to begin, change the subject. Toddlers have a short attention span and guiding them to a different task or activity allows them to forget about the previous situation.
Walk away. Sometimes this is purely for your own sanity. But toddlers want to be acknowledged by you. Turning your back to them lets them know that they will not continue to get attention from you by acting a certain way. They confuse positive and negative attention, but they understand the absence of attention.
Pick your battles. Wearing pink cowboy boots or their favorite princess dress isn’t hurting anyone. She’s dressed! My husband takes my toddler on the weekends to pick up coffee. She usually has messy bed head covered in a fedora hat wearing a Minnie Mouse pajamas dress and boots. The girls at the shop love her and know her by name. She’s exploring her individuality!
Patience. Lots and lots of patience. For me, this is the hardest part of parenting. I feel like I’ve said something 1,000 times and yet it’s still not done. But when I lose my temper and my daughter starts to cry, I realize that my point hasn’t gotten across. Instead my daughters feelings are hurt and she is scared of the way mommy just reacted. While patience is sometimes extremely hard to exercise, it is an essential part in surviving the toddler years.
Essential Oils. Essential oils are amazing for creating a more tranquil atmosphere during the day and before bedtime. I get mine here and love that they have a Kid Safe line. Nighty Night and Lavender are constantly being diffused in our home in our essential oil diffuser.
Ignore them. Ignore the bad behavior and praise the good. This reinforces that bad behavior gets no attention and, after all, attention is what they are seeking.
One-on-one time. This is especially important if you have other kids or you’re a working momma. Your toddler may just need some one on one time with you and is acting out just to get attention. Read books, color together, do puzzles, play their favorite game. Just spend a little time with all of your focus on them.
Oh, and WINE! Sometimes, when all else fails, wine gets you through until bedtime. Cheers!
Good luck, fellow Mommas! Sometimes I lose my
shit cool. This mommin’ thing ain’t easy!
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