Toddlers can truly be a handful. They’re exploring their independence while testing your limits. If you have a toddler, chances are you've had your fair share of spills, tantrums, and messes. It can be challenging to be a patient parent of a toddler, but it’s important to remember that this is a crucial stage in their development. It is important to take this time to focus on teaching behaviors that will help them succeed later in life and in order to that, you must know how to remain calm and patient when working with your toddler. Here are some tips on how to remain patient and understanding when you’re parenting a toddler:
- Expect tantrums. Toddlers are known for throwing tantrums when they don’t get their way. It’s important to stay calm and not give in to their demands. If you do, they’ll learn that they can get what they want by acting out. Instead, redirect their attention to something else or try reasoning with them calmly.
- Don’t take things personally. Toddlers say and do things that can be hurtful, but it’s important not to take it personally. They don’t understand the impact of their words yet and are just trying to express themselves. Respond calmly and explain why what they said or did was inappropriate without getting angry yourself.
- Give them choices. Whenever possible, give your toddler choices instead of demanding compliance from them all the time. This will help them feel more in control and less likely to throw tantrums. For example, ask if they want apples or bananas for snack instead of just giving them whatever you have on hand.
- Set consistent limits. One of the best ways to avoid power struggles with your toddler is to set clear limits from the start and then stick to them consistently. If you tell them no jumping on the sofa, then enforce it every time. Otherwise, they won’t understand what behavior is expected of them.
- Encourage positive behavior. When your toddler does something good, point it out and praise them sincerely. This will let them know that you notice and appreciate their good behavior, which will encourage them to keep doing it.
- Develop a love of learning together early on. Encourage your child’s natural curiosity by reading books together, visiting the library, and singing songs. Help them understand that learning is fun and rewarding by making it a part of your everyday routine. Your child might get frustrated with learning at times, and that is okay. You can remain calm by framing their frustration as evidence that they are learning and that they care!
- Participate in physical activities with your toddler. Not only is the physical work good for you as a parent, acting as a stress reliever, but it is also helpful for your toddler. It encourages them to move their bodies and burn off energy. It is also yet another chance to learn about each other and spend time together, the most important tip of all.
Patience is important when parenting a toddler because it helps foster communication and trust, teaches self-control, and provides opportunities for learning. All of these reasons and more provide for a healthier childhood and will lead to a better life after childhood as well. Toddlers have a lot of energy and can be easily overwhelmed. They are also still learning how to communicate and express themselves. They may not always know how to say what they need or want, which can lead to frustration on both their part and yours. They will make mistakes – sometimes big ones. It’s important to remember that these mistakes are part of the learning process and that getting frustrated or angry will only make it harder for your child to learn from them. Remind yourself constantly of the importance of patience with your toddler, and never forget the most important rule: love the time you spend with them!