Best toddler tips
Parenting a toddler can be extremely challenging and utterly exhausting. While your toddler is naturally enthusiastic and energetic, she may sometimes behave like a little savage, making you feel as though you’ve been given the mighty task of civilising her!
Try our tips for toddler taming:
Child-proof the house.
Between their newly found independence, and their newly acquired skill of walking, toddlers can be hard to manage indoors. Save yourself the headache of saying ‘no’ all the time and lock up (or put out of reach) your valuables. Gate any area that is either dangerous (bathroom or stairs) or precious (the dining room full of glassware) but make sure too that you haven’t boxed her into such a tiny space that she’ll get restless.
Divert and distract.
It may seem sometimes that your toddler is contrary by nature, but really she just wants what she wants and she wants it NOW! When reasoning and explaining doesn’t work - ‘No, you can’t go outside because it’s dark, raining and bedtime’ - try diverting her attention with an activity she can enjoy with you. Try ‘racing’ with her to her bedroom – there’s nothing a toddler likes more than being chased!
Always remember that these are a normal part of your toddler’s growth, so take heart if she seems to be chucking a wobbly every single day – they won’t go on forever. Take note of what sets her off a (tiredness/the supermarket/over-stimulation) and perhaps try avoid those triggers for a while.
Toddlers are really just very big babies with shoes on, so make sure that you give her as much attention and one-on-one time as you gave her when she was a babe-in-arms. This can be particularly challenging if a new baby enters the family, but your toddler needs you just as much as your newborn does, so perhaps try to have some activities lined up that you can do with your toddler in those rare moments of peace.
Some toddlers are particularly aggressive and can find it difficult to spend any time at all with other children before there is an altercation. While some aggression is normal and healthy, if you do have an overly aggressive child, you need to teach him to be aware of his feelings and encourage him to express them by using words rather than actions. Encourage him to find activities that will allow him to vent his aggressive feelings in a constructive way – hammering and sawing, cutting, throwing a ball, banging musical instruments together.
Clinging and grizzling.
All toddlers cling and grizzle a bit, but if you have a particularly demanding toddler, you may need to give her more attention than she’s getting. Make sure you give her lots of cuddles and avoid pushing her away – even if the clinginess is driving you mad - as it will only make her cling a little harder! To avoid becoming irritated by her clinginess, try to find ways that you can incorporate it into your daily life. Try sitting her on the kitchen bench so she can watch you work, instead of having her at your feet grabbing at you.
Take some time for yourself.
It’s very easy to lose your sense of humour when you’re down in the trenches with a toddler, so try to take a little time for yourself on regular basis. It will restore your perspective and remind you that the world is bigger than your kitchen.
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