In the age of toddlerhood, you’ll have to expect some unsavory behavior. There’s screaming, whining and plenty of tantrums at the supermarket (and other places in between). While toddlers will throw a fit because their brains are still developing and they don’t yet have that mental capacity to tell us everything they feel, there are other times that our actions as parents are to blame for this nasty behavior.
The trick is to reduce the behavior by employing a few tricks to keep tantrums from occurring. Try these on for size next time:
1. Diminish distractions
In a day and age where everyone has a smartphone and seems permanently affixed to it, don’t forget to put it down for a while and focus on your child. Your child will act out sometimes just to get you to look up from the hypnotizing effects of your phone. Sometimes, we have stuff we must get done though and to make your child and work a priority, simply devote 15 or 20 minutes playing with your child and then turn back to your work emails.
2. Be a good role model
Children watch everything we say and do, so you need to make what you say and do really count. If you have good manners, your child will too. But if you show bad habits like note picking up after a mess, guess who will also leave messes around? Your child! When you’ve made a mistake, simply own up to it and work on making your behavior more role model-worthy.
3. Learn to spot the cues
Your child lets off cues when she is sleepy or hungry, so be sure you keep a watchful eye for it. Keeping snacks in your bag can be what saves you during an outing. For sleepy children, try to keep to a set schedule each day. While things certainly can and will come up, it will go a long way to avoid having your child throw a tantrum from being tired.
4. Lower your expectations
Don’t expect too much from your young children because they are still just kids. A toddler really can’t sit still at the table. Instead, arm yourself with things that will provide a nice distraction for her so she’ll be able to keep busy during that time. Keep your expectations fair and age appropriate and you’ll find you and your child will be much happier for it.
No one is a perfect parent so keep that in mind as you try to teach your toddler the ways of the world. Most important of all, show your love and patience during these times because this phase will pass all too soon.