Handling a toddler can sometimes be painful. While some tend to be calm and polite, others tend to be aggressive and reactive. Since it is a toddler you are dealing with, there are several limitations to how you treat them. When it comes to handling toddlers, there is no universal rule as to how you should deal with them. Instead, each toddler demands a different technique to keep them normal throughout the day. The key is to become tantrum resistant and overcome difficult toddler behaviors. So let’s take a look at how you can deal with difficult toddlers by implementing some positive parenting tips.
Let Them Know Your Expectations
Setting expectations for a toddler might have kept you wondering but the fact of the matter is that it works everytime. Although toddlers are not aware of what you are saying and are hardly able to understand it as well but they soon become familiar with what might lead to trouble. For instance, if your kid wanders away while shopping and you constantly interrupt him/her to remind them of their mistake, they will become aware of the consequences if the same mistake was to be done next time. Therefore, even before they manage to commit such types of mistakes, you should let them know of your expectations.
You should inform them of what they can do and cannot do along with the consequences as well. With that being said, your toddler will not cry and kick heals every time you interrupt him/her while playing because they know that they have done a mistake and it’s they who are at fault.
Avoid Aggressive Behavior and Negative Language
Even though toddlers mostly cannot understand what you are saying but your aggressive behavior or tone can influence their attitude negatively. This is an important point to consider especially when it comes to handling cranky toddlers because they will find every opportunity to cry and kick things around. It is well-understood that parents can lose their patience but you need to avoid negative language.
The last thing you would want is your toddler repeating the same language or behavior when he/she grows up. Kids at such an age tend to copy their elders. So whatever you say, especially do, will influence them to copy and therefore, you need to be conscious of your actions, regardless of how difficult they are to handle.
Choose Your Battles
Handling toddlers is all about choosing your battles. Then again, you need to remind yourself that you are dealing with a child who cannot differentiate between right and wrong. Therefore, you will have to choose when to interrupt them and let them do things on their own. The reason is that if you were to pick up a fight each time, you are going to make them stubborn. Later down the road, they will develop the same attitude and try picking fights with whomever they choose to.
However, you can set some restrictions at the same time as well. For instance, there is not going to be any compromise on how to dress appropriately according to the weather but you can let them be themselves when it comes to picking clothes and matching accessories.
Give Two Options With the Same Outcome
By now, you must have observed and realized that toddlers want to be in control each time. They will cry until they get the ultimate authority. So, why not give it to them? However, you should give them two options with the same outcome. This is a clever parenting tip to handle difficult toddlers. Since the toddler cannot analyze the outcomes of the two and just wants the authority, you win each time. For instance, you can ask your toddler whether he/she would like to clean up now or in two minutes? You see two different options but the same outcome. As soon as they notice that they are options lying on the table, they feel like being in control.
Give Warnings and Use a Timer
Sometimes you might want to use a bit of warning and a timer to let your kids know beforehand when it is time to leave. For example, if you are taking your kids to the park, let them know that you have a timer and after the time ends, they have to return home and there aren’t going to be any discussions, arguments, or crying about it. This will let them know before you even leave the house that they have limited time to play and should make the most of it. As a result, chances are that they will less likely engage in fights and crying and will focus more on playing.
Use Natural Consequences
Using natural consequences to handle toddlers is perhaps the best way to deal with them. Natural consequences tend to be the natural reactions to the actions of the toddlers. Instead of coming up with your own each time, you should rely on determining outcomes from their choices. This has proven to display comparatively better handling of the toddlers. For instance, if your toddler refuses to wear a jacket when it is snowing outside, tell them to stand outside on the porch for a while. They will come running inside to grab the jacket. However, you should be careful with some natural consequences. You cannot go too extreme with them. Just keep the responses balanced.
Don’t Battle for Power Each Time
If you have tried every technique you can possibly think of and observe that none of them are working out, you might want to disengage with your toddler. In such situations, you cannot lock horns with them and expect to win the power bottle, because you simply won’t. This calls for giving them some space until they calm down automatically. Sometimes, toddlers tend to act out without any reason. Instead of leaving them and walking out of the room, sit nearby and simply do not fight with them. Let them continue their tantrum and they will soon come back to their natural state.
In the end, you need to be a bit patient as well for things to work out. Embedding a positive attitude and handling difficult toddlers does not become easy overnight. You have to practice tolerance and experiment with different techniques to find out what works out for you.