Understanding Toddlers

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Parenting a toddler can seem like an extremely difficult task especially if our toddler is unable to fully communicate by talking.  Numerous people try to treat toddlers in the same way they do older kids but along with parenting it is important to remember the age of a child and their understanding.

Babies and toddlers were not born bad.  They do not do things to be naughty or to drive you up the bend.  Children all are curious and this can get the better of them.  Toddlers as well as babies, will reach for anything and everything.  They like to explore and to learn about their surroundings.  If a toddler grabs something and you tell them no, this is not necessarily going to deter them.  They will do so over again.  Punishing them or spanking them will not “teach them a lesson” or make them not do it next time either as consequence and punishment is not really age appropriate.  The most effective way to resolve this type of issue is to keep anything you do not want your toddler to grab out of reach.  This respects your child’s age – you understand that you can’t expect your child to understand why they shouldn’t touch something or that touching something is wrong.  Shouting or telling a toddler off is not going to result in good behavior.  They do not understand and it just leads to unnecessary negativity.  Of course it can be frustrating if your child keeps picking up the same thing over and over that you don’t want them to, but The most effective thing you can do is move it out of reach.

It is additionally important to factor in your child’s feelings and age when you go out shopping.  Sometimes toddlers will get grumpy or frustrated because they are being dragged around shops that have actually little or no interest to them.  They tend to find their own interest within that space and this can be frustrated.  It is additionally worth being empathetic to your child’s need to rest so not be overly annoyed if you have actually to take a break for them.  Try to respect that even though you have actually to get things done during the day, that if you are having to take your toddler along with you, they additionally have actually needs too.  And even though they can’t be the centre of attention always, they should at least be given the opportunity to rest and maybe given some time during the day to focus on what they want to do.  This gives them a sense of control over their environment and can help make shopping trips more bearable knowing that they will eventually get to pick what happens next.

If your child throws a fit or a tantrum while you out.  The most effective thing you can do is leave the store or move to one edge and let them get their feelings out.  Don’t add any drama to it, just be there and when they start to settle hold your hands out to offer them a hug.  They will take this up.  Letting your child express their feelings will prevent them bottling it up (and causing major tantrums when it gets released all at once) and additionally help them deal along with it more appropriately and effectively in future.  The tantrum is your child’s whirlwind of emotion – not yours, so don’t add drama to it.  Acknowledge this is about how they are feeling and this is the only way they know how to express it.  When you don’t add drama but are there to give them a hug when they are finished you will find it remarkable how swiftly the next emotional outburst and the next will be.  You aren’t setting your child up to be naughty or to get away along with something, you are acknowledging their need to let their feelings out and loving them unconditionally.

Children aren’t bad – they don’t do things to be bad, they do things because their needs are not being met or they are overwhelmed along with emotion.

Of course, as a parent, it is important to parent and to give direction – but a good parent tries to yes whenever it is possible.  Parenting isn’t about controlling a child, it is about learning to help a child grow based on their age and abilities.  All children really need is unconditional love, acceptance of who they are (even when in the midst of a tantrum) and direction.

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