Being a mom of a 2 year old child, I could tell how hard it is to survive a day with a toddler. Especially when she is the only child and it’s your first parenting experience. I heard that even the best parents struggle with how to discipline a toddler. If you thought you couldn’t manage at all, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I could understand if some days you came up with the thoughts of running away and leaving everything behind. It’s not the end of the world yet. Hang in there! And let me share some of the tips I used to struggle with my child. I, myself, either couldn’t do the best but I’m still trying.
It’s the simple, yet the best strategy you could try when they’re out of control or when they are getting a tantrum.
- Give your child something else to do. Introduce a new activity, toy or game, or even show your child something new they can do with the toy they already have.
- Change the scene. Put your child where they can see different things, or move your child to a new spot either inside or outside.
- Think ahead. Have a few ideas for fun activities. It could be as simple as planning some outdoor play when you can see that your child is getting bored inside.
- Sing some of their favourite songs together. This can be useful when you can’t stop what you’re doing, like when you’re driving or cooking.
- If you’re out and about, take some fun toys or books that you can pull out when you need them. Sometimes, it’s better to buy some extra toys that you haven’t seen yet and give them in disastrous situations. As for me, this method really works when we go for a trip.
Well, I can understand sometimes you’re really getting on nerves when dealing with them. As you know, they can’t control themselves yet and they can’t talk either. It’s hard for them to express their feelings with words. Then, they might express in other ways such as biting, hitting or kicking when they’re angry. When this happens, you must calm yourself first and control yourself not to overreact aggressively in which you might regret later. When you react calmly, they may also stay calmer.
Try to communicate
I know it’s hard to communicate with them, especially when they can’t speak well yet. Remember that even if they can’t tak, they can understand your words. Keep eye contact with them, and try to explain the situation, try to explain how they should behave well. Speak in short phrases, repeating them a few times and incorporating vocal inflections and facial expressions. For example, if your 18-month-old swats your arm, say, “No, Jake! Don’t hit Mommy! That hurts! No hitting.” A 2-year-old can comprehend a bit more: “Evan, no jumping on the sofa! No jumping. Jumping is dangerous—you could fall. No jumping!”
And 3-year-old children can process cause and effect, so state the consequences of the behaviour.
Give it a time
If you feel you need a break time, just take a break. Don’t push yourself hard. There’s nothing wrong with giving a time-out if you’re stressed enough. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent or irresponsible. Giving time-out to both yourself and your child will be beneficial for furthering your relationship with your child. Get help from your husband or from your mom or from whoever can help you.
Let your child make choices
According to their age, you can give them an option to make appropriate choices. Some examples include: what to wear (perhaps offer 2 choices) and what to eat (within reason), what to play, who to play with. This gives her a feeling of control and supports her growing confidence and sense of competency (the belief that “I can do it”).
In some cases, they will get their routines, and they won’t probably need your help at all.
Listen to their ideas with an open mind. Don’t shoot down anything, but do talk about the consequences before a decision is made.
Last but not least, don’t forget to reward good behaviour whenever they do.