Raising toddlers is nothing short of a herculean task. When babies grow into toddlers – they are like very excited explorers. They want to touch, smell, taste everything and suddenly have a voice. They also how to get heard. Since they are still learning to talk, they scream, throw tantrums at little things. For a first time parent – handling a toddler can become overwhelming, especially all the screaming and wailing! Believe me – I know, since I handled one in 2010 and now doing one again !!!
On one hand, your toddler is growing fast and rapidly – while on the other hand, he is learning to scream, hit people around, throw things, pulls hair or just be really grumpy. Your child can also express multiple emotions. Emotions such as jealousy, anger, sadness, excitement – are all new to them, and we should let them know how to identify their emotions. Well, just start naming these emotions – that is the simplest way of doing it.
As a parent, at this stage, you have to be extremely cautious about how we react; toddlers learn by seeing and they copy it very fast.
Following are some effective pointers that may help –
- Consistency – toddlers don’t like change since they do not understand much at this age. Be persistent and consistent with their schedules and behaviors. If you have said NO to something, ensure you stick to it. Don’t allow it one day, and deny it the next day. they cannot differentiate between our logic and get irritated. Ensure you let the child know that their cute expressions won’t deter you.
- Give Simple instructions – Toddlers do not understand long sentences or complex expressions. Keep it simple and sweet for them. Speak loud and clear when you give instructions. Repeat if necessary. This also helps toddlers build vocabulary and teaches them how to follow instructions. Simple instructions like -Let’s keep the milk in the refrigerator, Can you help Mumma keep this glass in the kitchen? are really helpful for the children.
- Don’t Assume – Do not assume that your toddler will automatically start learning alphabets, numbers, shapes, and colors. Staying a little ahead always benefits. In India, a child who is 2 years old, starts playgroup and so the learnings done at home can really be beneficial.
- Understand toddler behavior – Know your toddler’s trigger points. Every child is different, unique and has different aspects which upsets or make them happy. Prepare beforehand for a situation which you know may result in a cranky toddler. For e.g.- if you know your child sleeps at 11am, ensure you make the child sleep and then leave the house to run an errand.
- Stay Positive – learn from others, you will make it to the end of this phase. As said earlier, raising toddlers can be overwhelming but stay at it. When in a situation, where you don’t know what to do -. Take a deep breath, count to three, and get down to your child’s eye level. Be fast and firm, serious and stern.
- Affirm and Beleive – I have heard many women exclaim – Awww – those terrible tows and threes are really overwhelming. Of course, they are, there is no denying what so ever in that, but you know what — you can change the way you perceive it. Instead of thinking this phase as a terrible why cannot we label it as a thrilling or Tantalizing Twos and Threes? Do you see the difference? We are learning about and with them as much as they are with us. It’s a thrilling and a very Exciting phase. Learn and enjoy – while it lasts. You know they are not going to be 2 forever
- Set Limits – Of course you want to shower them with all the gifts you can and you want to give them the very best of everything; which is all great, but do you realize that this will all work alright UNTIL the day you say a NO. Remember, material love fades away – while non-material thing stays in memories forever. Imagine your child growing up into an adult who cannot withstand a NO? cannot take a NO from their spouse or a boss – How does that sound? Not very good I am sure 🙂
- Be there for them – Take time out for them whenever you can. Read or sing along, dance silly, run in the park, swing together, have an ice cream together – and don’t forget to click a lot of pictures – Children love all the attention they can get.
Why don’t you share some tips that may have worked for you?