I’ve been having a difficult time lately dealing with my toddler’s behavior. Not because she’s a bad girl (because she’s really not), but because it feels like shes everywhere at once and I’m scrambling to keep up. She has to touch everything! Sometimes I swear she has eight arms. 😩
She’s also developed quite the personality and is asserting her independence. She wants to do everything for herself which is wonderful, but also tough and exhausting and usually results in me getting hurt, which is when I start to feel I’m going to lose my cool.
Of course I know that she doesn’t mean to hurt me. She’s not just hauling off and hitting me, but she’s always underfoot, taking things out of my hands, accidentally head butting me, and the list goes on…It’s mostly because she wants to help with everything and be involved with everything and honestly that’s a good thing and something I should be encouraging. So I’ve been making a conscious effort to start having more patience and try to change the way I handle the not-so-great behavior.
The other night she started to have a complete meltdown because it was close to bedtime and she was overtired and everything was setting her off. She started wailing, but instead of getting upset I decided to try humor instead. I grabed a blanket off the bed and started a game of peek-a-boo! I know it sounds funny, and I was acting like a complete fool, but it worked!
She started cracking up and I was able to avoid the meltdown and continue getting her ready for bed in a playful way. Of course I have to change tactics a bit when she’s in need of actual discipline but when she’s just cranky or exhausted and doesn’t know what to with herself, I just switch to silly goofball mode and flip both our moods.
Getting angry was no good for either one of us and it does nothing to help the situation so I finally just had to make a change. Of course I still get angry, and it’s very hard sometimes, but I just listen to the little voice in my head reminding me of how much worse it will be for both of us if I yell and force myself to stay calm.
Now I know what you’re thinking… easier said than done. But you know what? Once I started to do it and see the immediate positive effect it had on her (and me) it kind of became addictive! Even when she really was doing something wrong and I needed to discipline her, the more calm I was, the better she listened. When you start to see such positive results, it really does become so much easier to do it!
I would’ve never believed it a week ago when I was still exasperated, yelling and at the end of my rope but I guess I had just hit the point where I was so tired of being upset so much and just had to try something different.
The change has been so wonderful that I just had to share with any of you mamma’s (and papa’s) out there that are trying to navigate the toddler years and want to find a way to have more patience. It’s still hard, and I still need to give myself a little mental pep talk whenever she starts to push my buttons, but knowing that keeping myself calm is really going to work, is great motivation to keep trying! The more you do it, the happier you’ll be, I promise!
It’s not a complete cure-all, there are going to be times when we get angry and yell, mommin’ is flipping hard! But getting down to her level and talking to her in a calm manner, I’m actually getting through to her, rather than just blowing my top and having us both end up crying 😓 I don’t know what made me change it up, I’ve been trying for quite a while, but I’m so glad I did!
I really hope you can take something away from my experience and that it works for you. I really think it will! If I can help even one stressed out mom deal with her toddlers shenanigans in a more calm and pleasant way I’ll be ecstatic!
If you have any tips on how to handle your feisty toddler please share in the comments, parenting advice is always welcome! 😄