Toddlerhood. An age of adorableness, charm, and tantrums. Taming the “Terrible Twos” can be incredibly frustrating, for parents and toddlers alike. Some days, it can seem like almost anything would be easier than having your child listen to you and cooperate. From a toddler’s perspective, it’s easy to see why they’re easily frustrated: they can’t yet communicate effectively, and they don’t have nearly as much freedom as they’d like. They’re eager to show independence, while still being dependent upon us for pretty much everything. With this combination, tantrums and misbehavior are inevitable.
Try these three tips to teach good behavior, while minimizing frustration and meltdowns:
1. Don’t Go Overboard with Rules
Too many rules can easily equal frustration. It’s a good idea to prioritize rules, and focus on putting those rules related to safety as most important. Gradually, more rules can be added over time. It’s best to help children follow rules as much as possible, by childproofing the home and eliminating temptations.
Show Plenty of Love
With children of any age, positive attention is the most important. Displays of affection should outnumber negative attention or consequences. Hugs, kisses, good-natured roughhousing, as well as attention involving playing with toys and reading books are great ways to reassure children of love. Frequent praise and attention are the best motivators when it comes to encouraging children to follow rules.
Show Acceptance for Who They Are
As children grow, their personalities develop, and even as toddlers, they begin to display unique characteristics. Some of these are learned, and others are genetic. It is very important to respect a child’s developing individuality, and to nurture their personality in ways that will make them feel confident.
Be sure to treasure this age, too. In the whole scheme of a child’s life, toddlerhood will be over in the blink of an eye. Enjoy their cuteness and charm, and cherish each moment. In providing love, attention, praise, encouragement, and a consistent routine, parents and toddlers can both experience more understanding and serenity during this important childhood stage.