TERRIBLE TWO PARENTING IS HARD ENOUGH!
NOW HOW ABOUT PARENTING A TERRIBLE TWO TODDLER THAT IS ALSO STRONG-WILLED?
Actual conversation in our household…
Daddy: Riley, I said don’t touch that. Your hands are dirty. If you don’t listen again, I am going to take away a toy as a consequence.
Man oh man, I thought the newborn phase was demanding until my daughter hit her terrible twos. Which BTW really wasn’t terrible twos per se because it really started around 18 months.
Not only do you have to deal with your toddler’s basic needs (eat, sleep, diapers, safety) now you have to deal with their emotional needs and how they interact with the world.
Basic needs + emotional roller coasters + tantrums + fierce independence + stubbornness = Mommy (and daddy) trying not to lose it.
I used to think I was a patient person…. until I had kids. But really until I had a toddler, where every day there is something new for my toddler to be upset about or a new way for her show her
Once I realized I couldn’t wing this important phase in my daughter’s life, I had to come up with a game plan to teach my daughter how to cope with her emotions and keep me sane. With that said, this is still a work in progress and things in my household are still far from perfect.
Really, this list is a reminder for myself and how to get out of this phase without becoming a banshee mom. Here it goes
7 TIPS ON PARENTING A STRONG-WILLED TODDLER
1) Be patient
I would say if you only can do one thing, this may be the most important. I used to think I was
2) Set the example
Remember our kids are little sponges and mirrors. Sometimes the behaviors that we are not a fan of our a reflection of us. I realized this quickly when my daughter started wagging her finger at me saying “Mommy, I told you one time….”. Oops! The lesson I learned was to watch my words, actions
3) Provide structure
This was/is a tough one for me. I tend to be a go with the flow, one day we’ll do things this way, the next day we’ll do things that way. Then I started realizing my toddler works better with more of a routine and boundaries. We all learn through repetition. This is where instilling your family values and rules come in. I am testing out this chore chart.
4) Be consistent
I learned the hard way, you can’t be strict about a rule one day and a little more relaxed the next. Being
5) Offer an explanation
When discussing why your toddler can’t do something or is getting a consequence
6) Give a consequence
Unfortunately, sometimes giving
7) Evaluate your child’s needs (emotional, mental, physical or developmental)
So this is where whether you give your child a pass or not comes into play. Sometimes the behavior is a symptom and not the cause. Is there something going on emotionally, mentally, physically or developmentally that is causing your child to act this way? Can they help it? Are they feeling like themselves? For example, when my daughter is over-tired she begins to get mad or sad about everything and begins to act out. If I just looked at the behavior, she would most likely get some sort of explanation or consequence. But since I see something else is really the cause, i.e. tiredness, then I may comfort her and try to get her to nap instead. Try to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS TO RAISING A STRONG-WILLED TODDLER?
Do you have a sure fire way of handling your toddler? Maybe it’s time to be a little more consistent with your family rules or provide more structure. All in all, be patient with your toddler and yourself!