Parenting toddlers is no easy feat. Toddlers are sometimes infamous for having meltdowns and exhibiting an array of challenging behaviors, none of which happen without reason. Most of these types of behaviors stem from the fact that they often experience frustration and are unable to effectively articulate their feelings and needs. They want to practice independence and freedom but can run into hurdles along the way. Here, we will discuss some parenting tips for toddlers that you may find handy. 

Dealing with problematic toddler behaviors can be pretty challenging and nerve-wracking for parents. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can address and even eliminate some of these behaviors. 

 Establish routines and limits

But don’t be too strict. Toddlers need to feel some sense of control of their own lives as they begin to discover who they are as individuals. Since children at this age are not always capable of making sound decisions independently, putting rules and firm boundaries in place is important.

For example, if your child’s bedtime is 9 pm, then you shouldn’t allow late-night activities or the use of electronics at night time. Children need to be given a clear routine to follow. Set a specific time for getting up in the morning, playing, eating snacks and meals, and so on. Routines help toddlers feel safe and secure in their environment. Knowing what to expect when it comes to everyday life events and having a sense of predictability will result in improved behaviors from your little one. 

Remind children that they are loved

Toddlers need a lot of love and attention, especially from their parents. Make sure your displays of love and affection outweigh the negative consequences you give for misbehavior. Children at this age need your love more than anything else. Spend time with your little one, play together, and show that you care. Shower your child with hugs and kisses. Say “I love you”. The attention and affection children receive can help motivate them to follow your rules and expectations, and behave appropriately. 

Be aware of your child’s triggers

Not all forms of misbehavior are out of your control. Some can actually be prevented by remaining aware of what makes your toddler tick. There are bound to be some things that your toddler dislikes or becomes upset by, which can lead to misbehaving. Figure out what your child’s triggers are. Sometimes toddlers will have a tantrum simply because they are hungry or sleepy. Sometimes it’s because they are exposed to certain situations that make them uncomfortable.  Certain environments or situations can be overwhelming and overstimulating.

It isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is observe children’s behavior closely over time as you come to learn what sets them off. 

Offer choices

Toddlers don’t misbehave without reason. They often have meltdowns and tantrums because they want to be independent and accomplish things on their own, but they are not allowed to. In cases like this, it can be helpful to offer choices.  Doing so helps young children feel a sense of control over their lives, and can also improve behavior.

For example, if your child doesn’t like to eat vegetables during meals, you can offer other options instead of forcing your little one to eat a specific food. This gives children a sense of independence and control. You may let them choose between carrots or broccoli. If you’re struggling to get your child to bed, give the option to have a glass of milk first or a bedtime story. 

Enforce consequences

Even though toddlers need plenty of love and affection, it’s also essential for parents to enforce consistent consequences for misbehavior. Children need to learn that there are certain things that won’t be tolerated. 

Consequences can come in many forms, but consistency is key. You may decide to set up a time-out system or take away television privileges when necessary. Whatever you choose, make sure your expectations are clear from the get-go so children can easily understand what behaviors are acceptable. 

Dealing with challenging toddler behavior can be frustrating for any parent. By following these helpful tips for parents of toddlers,  you’ll start to see improvements in your little one’s behavior.

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