If you are the parent of a toddler (or two?) chances are you feel as though you have very little control over your life. Your day may seem to be governed by demands, tantrums and relative chaos. And then there is your sleep deprivation…
In the midst of all this, you have a child you love and adore so you just need to get through the day!
Toddlers are supposed to move, question you, make demands, explore their worlds. They are on a mission to be independent and will instinctively work towards this but they aren't able to do everything themselves. This leads to frustration. Theirs...and then yours!
So here are some tips for coping with this stage of your child’s life:-
- Lower your expectations and stay as flexible as possible. It is impossible to control all that a toddler does, so allow yourself some flexibility and be prepared for change.
- Help your toddler to be heard by remembering that their behaviour is about how they are feeling. Go down to their level and tap in to their feelings. This will help you understand their behaviour and manage their emotions.
- Don’t pack the day with activities; make sure you leave gaps and some quiet times for them. Too much stimulation and noise leads to overactive toddlers and we know what happens then…
- Toddlers struggle with emotion and coping, especially when they feel low in energy or are too tired. Tune in to their energy cycles and don’t plan a trip to the grocery store when they are tired!
- One-One time with your toddler is time you will never have again. Try to make some space in your busy schedule to just ‘be’ with your toddler with no distractions and not doing anything on your list of things to do! Get down on the floor and build blocks; go outside and spray each other with water; read a book; bake a cake…just be together. This is called being present and connecting with your child…it builds trust, growth and that bond between you.
The cliché is ‘they grow up so fast’…but they really do. Enjoy this toddler stage for all the affection and focus they give you – you’ll miss it when they grow up!