Everyone has heard of the so-called ‘terrible twos’, a notoriously difficult developmental stage for children. Toddlers are just starting to experience something like independence as they take their first steps and start trying to verbally express their wants and needs.
Of course, they have not yet developed the social skills, logic, awareness of their surroundings, or recognition of danger that older children have. This can be highly frustrating for them, especially when it comes to being told ‘no’. However, there are some ways to minimise the temper tantrums and help them learn good behaviors. Here are 4 tips for parents struggling to look after their toddler’s behaviour.
Introduce Rules Gradually – And Stick To Them
Expecting your child to follow numerous rules could confuse and frustrate them. Instead, decide on some key rules that will keep them safe inside and outside the home. It is also important to remove potential dangers and hazards from their reach to minimize the risk that they will hurt themselves through curiosity. Gradually you can introduce more specific rules around manners or how they play.
Dealing with tantrums
Raising a toddler has its own unique set of challenges, with a big one being how to deal with temper tantrums and displays of frustration. So, if you’re welcoming a toddler into your home through either fostering a child through organizations like thefca.co.uk or if your own child has come of age, there are some key points to keep in mind when your toddler has a tantrum.
The first is to try not to expect too much from your child, as they may not be misbehaving; they may simply not understand what you are asking of them. If you ask your child to do something and they refuse, try not to overreact and repeat the request calmly. Turn what you are asking them to do into a game. It can sometimes help to offer your child a choice between activities like which clothes to wear or the bedtime story they would like as this gives them a sense of independence.
Encourage them to verbally express their feelings rather than physical foot stamping or screaming. A routine they can rely on can also prevent frustration, as can avoid putting them in situations where they will not be able to play, sleep, or eat for a long time.
Reward good behavior and enforce consequences of bad behavior
It is important that you show your toddler affection, love, praise, and attention more often than you are punishing them to ensure you are maintaining a positive bond. When your child is behaving well, even if they are simply sitting quietly or playing calmly, reinforce that this is good behavior with positive attention. This will encourage them to continue to behave in this way.
Of course, sometimes your toddler is going to break the rules or misbehave, and when they do, you need to ensure there are consequences. If they are particularly aggressive or stressed, remove them from the situation and give them time to calm down. Click here for examples of appropriate punishments for toddlers.
Lead by example
Remember, your toddler is a sponge and is watching the adults around them to work out how to behave. If you do not want them to shout and scream, for example, do not behave like this in front of them. They are learning to speak and express themselves, so be careful of the language you use and help them to find ways to cope with frustration.