Every parent knows the struggles of disciplining a sassy toddler. It’s an age when little humans are testing out their limits and aren’t afraid to put up a fight. It’s not uncommon for them to have screaming fits in the grocery store or full-fledged hysterics in the middle of dinner. There are moments when it feels like they are resisting just about everything.
The toughest part is knowing how to handle these outbursts without losing your mind in the process. Don’t fall into the belief that it’s pointless to try to discipline a young toddler. They are old enough to start learning about consequences and the concept of yes and no. Here are some of the best tips for handling your child’s tantrums and setting healthy boundaries.
Choose Your Battles
Your little one is stubborn, and so are you. However, if both of you are always stubborn, you’ll eventually burn out. Sometimes you have to let things go. Decide what the most important things are as a parent and focus on those. Sometimes you just have to let the rest go.
Instead of inviting a massive meltdown because they don’t agree on what to wear, ask yourself if it’s really a big deal if they wear stripes with polka dots. If it makes them happy, then let it be. However, other situations like physical aggression or putting themselves in danger should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Avoid What Sets Them Off
Sometimes it’s all about avoiding situations before they even have a chance to set your little one-off. If you know that every time they walk down the candy aisle, they’re going to lose their mind, then, by all means, avoid the candy aisle next time! Be consistent and plan ahead. Removing temptations and triggers will save you plenty of stress.
Remember, You’re The Adult
No one said it was exactly enjoyable to listen to a child scream their head off for long periods of time. However, if you mirror their anger, you’re only making things worse. In addition to escalating the situation, you’re also setting an example that yelling is an acceptable way to express your feelings.
If you start to feel yourself getting angry or emotional, take a few deep breaths. Walk away for a minute if you have to. Getting angry in many cases will only encourage them, and may even be what they are after.
Instead, stay as calm as possible and keep your voice low and serious. Instead of telling them what they shouldn’t be doing, focus on what they should be doing.
Giving specific instructions of what you’d like to happen is a lot easier for the young mind of a child to understand.