If you are a parent of a toddler, then this image could be a daily occurrence, over something very simple, such as; what plate or bowl you delivered their breakfast in, what socks YOU are wearing or you taking a call. (You know that being on the phone = time to act out - right?)
Most of us think of toddlers and those difficult toddler years starting around the age of 2, but I have personally found it more to be around the age of 3 (the threenager). When you have a toddler, you think back and remember that actually, having a baby was EASY! Life with toddlers can be draining from dawn to dusk, but it can also be very fun! (when they are in a good mood - wink, wink).
As a former nanny, having toddlers in my care was my favourite age group to hang out with, nurture and teach, they are so curious and cute, but as you know through your tired parenting eyes, how a toddler is with you and how a toddler is with others, is like having two different children.
One of my clients described day to day llife with her toddler twins as "Take all the emotions, throw them into a bag, shake really hard and then pull one out and *surprise* that's the feeling of the moment". There is crying as soon as anyone leaves the room (even if it's someone they've just met), fear of the dark/spiders/vegetables.
This really made me laugh, as its SO true!
Toddler's are little creatures of curiosity, impulsiveness and ego-centric rolled into one, just living in the moment, and nothing else matters.
Simple tasks such as getting on ones shoes, can last for hours.
This is how the toddler thought process goes: They want to do things themselves; when YOU would rather do it for them, and then THEY want you to do things, when you would rather THEM do it.
Example: calls you in at bedtime and over night several times to pull the covers up, when they could do it themselves, and you want some wine time.
Wants to put your make up on you and do your hair for you, before you go out - enough said on that one!
See what I'm saying! Its' highly complex. You need a masters degree in negotiation to just get through each day (hour).
Here are 3 tips to get you through each day -
1. Remember to have a sense of humour, this phase won't last forever, no matter how tiring and trying it may feel. If you humour children, it can actually help you and them, as it often can prevent tantrums, as you learn to laugh together, at each other and is a feel good emotion. Did you just see the Mum on instagram dealing with her three children? if not google "teddy buzz cutter"
2. Remember that you are the leader, and although your toddler may try to exert some authority, it's up to you to make the calls at the end of the day. If you are offering choices, which is a good strategy, make the choices limited to 2, too many will cause your toddler to feel overwhelmed.
3. Make sure they are getting enough sleep (and you!) and they are eating every 2.5 hrs to maintain their blood sugar levels, your days will be harder and more draining, if you are not all well rested, and well fed. Tired toddlers, are not pleasant to be around, as they are not rational, not one bit! and if they are not eating properly, behaviour will be more erratic too,