I’ve been there once and I am slowly seeing the signs that my youngest is about to head into the terrible two’s.
My eldest at nearly three and a half still has days when I have to use some of my coping strategies, they call three year olds threenagers for nothing!
Here are my coping strategies for those headstrong toddlers/children…
Ignore the tantrums or work out how your toddler responds best when having one
The best advice I ever read for coping with toddler tantrums was to learn what works for your toddler. Lots of people say to ignore tantrums and I do agree sometimes that works, but remember a tantrum is your toddler unable to process emotions and is out of control. That must be really scary for them. I come from a school of thought that says sometimes they might need you and need a cuddle or support to help them calm down.
Work out what strategy works for your toddler (and different tantrums will require different methods) and it will help diffuse the situation quicker.
Don’t always say no
I try not to say no, unless something they’re doing is really dangerous i.e walking into a road, playing with something that could harm them. If you’re always saying no it won’t carry as much strength when you really need it to. I try and say things like ‘that’s Daddy’s TV we don’t touch it’ as an example.
Pick your battles
Definitely, pick your battles, does it really matter if they want a pink plate and not a purple one? Yes, it’s annoying but I save myself for the bigger battles I might need to have. I always try and put myself in their shoes, the pink plate might be a big deal to them at that age, so why not…
Choices for everything
I am a big believer in giving the girls choices as it usually means I get what I want in the end.
If I want an easy getting dressed routine I lay out two choices and let them decide, or if I know Amelie has to wear a uniform I’ll let her choose the rest of the outfit or make a big deal out of choosing cool knickers! Similarly, with food, we always have a choice of vegetables. Sometimes they say nothing, but generally, they like being given the choice and it works!
If you’re all getting upset have timeout
If all is going a bit wrong, stop, leave the room, take a deep breath and then go back in. It can be full on sometimes and we all need timeout, even adults. This usually stops me from getting really upset/mad.
Praise good behaviour
A big one but always, always really praise good behaviour, even the smallest of things really helps. Otherwise, it may feel like they’re always being told ‘No’ or that they’re doing something wrong.
What are your coping methods? Do you use any of these?