Staying Calm When Your Toddler Is Acting Up
The terrible twos are a stressful time for all parents because you toddler wants one thing and you want something completely different.
With the terrible twos, you can always guarantee that your toddler will have there five minutes of terror in a public place or just as you need to go out. It will always be at the most inconvenient of times and will test your patience to the max, so here are some tips to help you stay calm and resolve the situation peacefully.
Why your toddler is acting up
Your toddler’s behaviour is not deliberate
Your toddler is growing up, seeing the world differently and wants to have some independence. Their behaviour (at least most of the time) will not be deliberate or to wind you up. So instead of getting angry and upset, try understanding what is causing your toddler to act the way they are.
Dont give your toddler the satisfaction of a reaction
Curb your reaction to your toddler’s behaviour
If your toddler sees you react to their behaviour, they will do it more. By reacting to your toddler’s behaviour (getting upset, angry, shouting) your toddler will feel they are being rewarded by your attention (even if it is negative attention) and will continue acting in that manner.
Try to encourage your toddler with lots of positive praise and reward your toddlers good behaviour to move away from whinging and temper tantrums in a bid to get their own way.
Keep your stress a secret from your toddler
Your toddler can pick up on your moods so try and stay positive when you are around your young child.
The next time you have had a stressful day at work and go home to your toddler, watch how their mood will change because you are upset/tired/stressed etc.
Avoid sarcasm towards your toddler
Being sarcastic or using sarcastic tones of voice wont help to improve your toddler’s behaviour. If anything, it will only make it worse.
It could also upset your toddler as they may not understand the difference between when you are being serious and when you are being sarcastic. This can lead to them feeling insecure and upset (which wont help their mood or confidence in other activities).
Understand your toddlers behaviour with some top parenting tips.
Don’t debate with your toddler
If you have told your toddler to do something, don’t get in a debate when they say no. Even when your toddler is kicking and screaming, the more you talk to them the worse it will get.
By engaging in a conversation with your toddler you are helping to wind them up (because you will only be saying what they dont want to hear) and so you are only going to make their mood worse.
Instead, try distracting your toddler or if they are passed that point, let them get on with it and tell them that you are ready to talk when they have calmed down, then go in to another room.
Just remember that if you are in a bad mood, you don’t want to be told what to do and be nagged all the time, and your toddler is exactly the same. Where you have the chance let them get on with it, they will soon calm down when they want something.
Distract and calm yourself when your toddlers behaviour gets to much
If your toddler is having one of those days where they wouldn’t appreciate all the attention and toys in the world and all they are doing is acting up, don’t get stressed.
If you feel yourself getting wound up stop and take a few deep breaths. Remind yourself that you are in control and that you can handle your toddler.
You may find you have to go in to another room and calm down before you can discipline your toddler. It is important that you can calm down enough before disciplining your toddler; otherwise you may something you can’t take back and will regret.
Positively reward you and your toddler
Have some time for you
Taking time to yourself is very important especially on those days where your toddler is winding you up. Lets face it, how many people could you spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week with and not get annoyed with them?
Why not check out the local crèche or nursery as this will give you some time away from your toddler and allow you to unwind. Why not go and treat yourself to a swim and Jacuzzi at the local pool, or just enjoy having a few hours curled up on the sofa with a book. However you want to spend your time, do something you like so that when you pick up your toddler, you will be in a good mood.
Set a target for a day
It is always really easy to focus on the negative things your toddler does. Instead of focusing on the bad things, try and focus on the good ones.
For example, set yourself a target of complimenting your toddler a certain amount of times a day. This way, you will see that your toddler is loving and does things that make you smile.
It will also help your toddler to build on their self confidence and it will help to improve the bond between you and your toddler as you wont be telling them off all the time.
Let your toddler know what is acceptable
Give your toddler house rules and routine
House rules and routine will never be liked by your toddler, but it will help them. If your toddler knows what is going to happen next, they will be less anxious about the day and more likely to behave.
Setting rules for your toddler is also incredibly important, because your toddler cant behave if they don’t know what is expected of them.
Recognise the early warning signs that a tantrum is on the way
Whether it is stamping feet, huffing and puffing or something else, there are pretty much always tell tale signs the terrible twos temper tantrum is on its way. So do something about it before it’s to late.
There are lots of ways you can distract your toddler from a temper tantrum, for example offering an activity or trip outside, distracting them with a story etc. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, just give your toddler something else to occupy their mind.
Use time outs effectively
Giving your toddler warnings and giving your young child time outs are possibly the best things you can use on your toddler when they start acting up. By giving your toddler warnings and following through with time outs shows your toddler you are the one in control and also shows them that you still love them and are happy to be around them.
Focus on the positives about your toddler
Focus on the positives when your toddler is acting up
When your toddler is winding you up, focus on the good things they have done that day. Think of when they just came up and gave you a cuddle or kiss, when they told you they love you, when they did something really cute that just made you smile.
It is these kinds of moments that allow your heart to melt and you will instantly see your toddler in a different light.