If you want advice on Toddler Tantrums, and What to Do When Your Toddler Always Say NO, you have come to the right place!
You may not realize now but the toddler years are wonderful years.
Yes I know they are tough (sometimes seriously tough) but there is something so special about watching your child begin to learn about the world and about themselves too.
Except there’s just one little problem….
Toddlers are still very dependent upon you.
And these toddlers often wish they WEREN’T so dependent on you, especially during times when they went to be the boss or do it THEIR way.
Sigh for the toddler and an even bigger sigh for us.
This presents a conflict in their inner world.
Little problem for others = BIG, catastrophic problem for a toddler!
At this age toddlers are starting to test the limits to find out where the boundaries lie.
And as parents it’s our job to teach and guide them.
Of course, along with testing your boundaries comes that fun-filled word your toddler loves to utter.
It’s a word you probably wish they didn’t learn.
Or at least preferred they didn’t use while a) screaming it at the top of their little lungs or b) in a repetitive bunch.
It’s the word “no, no, no!”
How many times do you hear your toddler say “No” in a day?
Forget I asked.
Is it your toddler’s new favorite word?
Yep, I thought so.
The good news is that there are a few tried and true strategies for managing your child’s temper tantrums and coping with their constant NOs.
1-Show patience and understanding.
Yes, it’s absolutely true that a defiant child can wear on your nerves.
However, when you understand the developmental process your child is going through, it’s much easier to appreciate the process.
And when you know why something is happening, it’s easier to develop and maintain skills to manage it.
Remember your toddler is still new in this world.
A few years ago they weren’t even ALIVE.
A year ago they may not have been able to walk or form sentences.
So have patience and understanding for your toddler.
This is actually just as difficult for them as it is for you.
Emotionally unstable pint-sized dictator with the uncanny ability to know exactly how far to push towards utter insanity before reverting to a loveable creature.
2-Help develop their language skills.
One of the reasons you’re hearing “no” so often is that your child doesn’t have other ways to express their feelings.
No can mean anything from “I don’t want to” to “I’m not comfortable right now”.
It’s like the opposite of how the Eskimos have 50 words for snow.
Toddlers instead use NO to cover 50 different feelings/emotions/things.
This is why it is so important to help your toddler develop their language skills.
When you teach your child other ways of expressing themselves, you’re better able to address what’s bothering them and resolve the issue.
3- Understand their limits.
What happens to you when you get too hungry, tired or agitated?
Are you reasonable?
I know I’m not.
It isn’t fun or easy to be polite to people when you are just SO TIRED as an adult.
Now imagine being a little kid trying to cope with extreme fatigue or hunger.
You can probably guess that your child, who hasn’t yet developed self-control, will most certainly not be reasonable.
Pay attention to your child’s needs.
If they’re tired, hungry, frightened, stressed, frustrated or agitated, you’re going to hear “no” a whole lot more.
Try to catch the issue before the word NO happens.
But if you miss the opportunity don’t stress.
At least you know why and where it is coming from.
What your toddler needs more than anything now is a big YES to the word bed.
4 – Give them choices.
One of the best ways to find balance in this struggle for independence is to hand it to your toddler on a silver platter.
And just what will be served on this silver platter?
Why it’s choices of course!
This is a great gift to toddlers – the opportunity to make a choice and a decision on their own.
Of course, I highly recommend you don’t make them open-ended choices.
For example, a toddler has no idea how to answer the question, “What do you want to eat?”
Instead, give them a choice, for example, “Do you want to have a banana for a snack or an apple?”
If you give them the power to choose, you’ll have fewer battles.
5- Provide structure.
One of the best ways for you to help your toddler adjust successfully into this new stage of life is to provide them with structure.
Help them know what to expect each day.
When your toddler has a structure, they are much better behaved and you’ll have fewer battles.
Additionally, when you do have battles, they’ll understand what the repercussions are.
Follow through on your rules and your child will quickly learn where your boundaries and their boundaries rest.
No one ever said being a parent to a toddler was easy.
However, it can be fun and rewarding.
Watching your baby progress and grow into a small child is amazing.
Help them navigate this phase by setting firm boundaries, as well as following through on rewards and punishments.
Have patience and try to enjoy this phase.
It is honestly over before you know it.
FINAL NOTE – WORDS FROM THE WISE:
Trust me from experience – when you have teenagers the toddler years will feel like a long-ago distant memory that happened to someone else.
You will actually miss those exhausting, crazy toddler years that you once upon a time couldn’t wait to survive and get out of!
Enjoy it while you are in the moment because there are definitely beautiful moments there that you will one day miss.