Toddlers can be challenging.
They’re argumentative and stubborn one minute but then loving and complacent the next. Some days you may wonder how you’ll both survive this sometimes tempestuous stage.
Quite a bit of this has to do with understanding your toddler. And also understanding that their vocabulary isn’t as developed as ours. We’re adults, after all, and they still have quite a bit of growing to do. You can try introducing discipline with your toddler but also understand that they may not understand consequences.
Toddlers can be a ton of fun, and a lot of work. It is easier to deal with toddlers, if you understand how they work.
5 Tips for How to Better Understand Your Toddler
1. Patience Is Not A Virtue
You may not know how to be patient with a toddler, and they feel the same for you. The difference is, they are two. You are not. They are still learning. It is harder for them to control themselves, and they have no fear. Therefore, jumping off couches and tables, just seems like a lot of fun.
You can try teaching them patience, but there’s no guarantee that it’s going to stick. I’m an adult and my patience still isn’t the best.
2. Their Memory Isn’t That Great
They can’t really speak in full sentences, they certainly can’t read, therefore you have to repeat yourself (sometimes several times over) to make them hear you. Do not yell either. That only teaches the child that it is okay to yell and be yelled. A better approach is to get to their level and speak in a normal voice or to whisper.
3. They Want It Now
Remember that patience thing that we already talked about? When they see something, they want and they will go after it. It doesn’t matter if they have to throw a fit or fling a toy. And if doing either of those things merits a rewards, naturally they will start to think that’s how you get things.
Dealing with a temper tantrum is another matter entirely.
Toss in a stubborn toddler, and you’ve really got your hands full!
4. Impulse Control (or Lack Of)
If they want to run into the street for the ball, they are usually not aware of the danger no matter how many times you may tell them. They are still toddlers and their impulse control is still under development. That is why you have to watch toddlers like hawks!
5. Choices Are Bad (but not always)
They may not understand choices just yet so you may want to consider limiting the amount of choices they have. And sometimes, offering choices will make the situation worse. Rational thinking and logic are skills that develop later in life and more often than not, toddlers simply do not have these skills.
And it’s okay.
Above all else, your toddler just wants your love and attention.
Because this is not always possible, you need to know how to adjust to nurture them and make things easier for you. It might take time, but having a better understanding of how a toddler’s mind works might make it easier for you when they have a tantrum.
The best thing to do, is to stay calm and assess the situation. You will be able to get through it and eventually see their smiling face; hopefully while you still have a smile on yours.