Toddlers are an unpredictable lot. You don’t know what is going in their minds from the start as they struggle to mix with an overwhelming environment. Naturally, their frantic bouts of laughter and wailing may seem too much for you to take. But be patient and breeze through the following tips to understand them better.
1. Help them communicate better:
A 2-year-olds know few words and often get confused when we expect them to answer our playful queries. Similarly, they can’t express their needs all the time and become anxious. As a guardian, you should give them options by asking them to look at particular items around such as toys, by making eating gestures or pointing towards the toilet and let them respond. Your animated interaction with children will also improve their communication skills as children imitate elders.
2. Arrange their tasks in sequence:
Toddlers have a one-track mind and can’t shift their attention to two completely different activities done one after another. Thus, you should arrange the daily activities for your toddler in a seamless way to help retain interest in tasks. For example, don’t interrupt a routine of learning English alphabets and storytelling with playtime as that confuses the children and they end up under-performing.
3. Hungry or sleepy, attend them without fail:
Toddlers spend a lot of energy while interacting with the family. When awake, don’t urge them to do so many tasks that even playtime tires them and makes them hungry every few hours. Make a balanced diet of tasty and healthy food items for them. Let them decide how much or how little do they want to eat. Also, create a sleep routine for morning, afternoon and night to sort eating habits and time properly.
4. Tantrums don’t work always, let toddlers know that:
Truth be told, toddlers find more ways to get what they want from you if you yield to all of their requests. They will throw tantrums or behave oddly if you suddenly refuse them. So, observe them first. If they react by throwing away articles, temporarily keeping away their favorite toys may serve as an effective warning. You may also remain silent and pretend to be hurt so that toddlers realize that they can’t always get what they want.
5. Encourage empathy early:
As cognitive and social skills of toddlers improve, they will be drawn to emotions. If they see someone cry, they may either start crying or try to comfort the sad person. Guide them to develop emotional intelligence by narrating stories of forgiveness, goodness, benevolence and other noble attributes. You can also watch with them some children’s films or TV or web series that convey such messages.
6. Hearing them out:
From 5 years of age, toddlers show signs of confidence in communication and thus, want to be heard out by their parents, peers and teachers. As time passes, parenting or treating children should also mature. Be it a toy, food or a friend, listen to what they have to say instead of ordering them like they are still a 3-year-old. Toddlers will grow fond of you in no time.
Let us know what you think. Share with us your mantra for bringing up moody toddlers.