If you have been the mother of a toddler before, you may recognize it: you ask your toddler to do something or not to do something and he answers every request with a decided “No!”. Also the tantrums are a tough thing to deal with. This phase, which usually begins when your toddler is one and a half to two years old and ends around the age of four, is often difficult for parents. But for toddlers, toddler adolescence is very important. During this period they find out that they are their own person, with their own will and opinion. These are the first steps towards independence. But what is the best way to deal with a stubborn toddler? We summed up the 5 most useful tips!
1. Try to stay calm
It is sometimes difficult to stay calm when you still have a million things to do and your toddler has yet another tantrum. However, when you notice that you are getting angry, it is important not to express this to your child. For example, walk away for a moment and tell your toddler to cool down. It is important to apologise to your child if you lose your temper unexpectedly. This way you set a good example to him.
2. Show that you understand him
By naming his emotion (‘I see that you are angry’), you show your toddler that you understand how he feels. This is quite a relief for a child. It is then important to offer an alternative (‘How can we make you happy again?’).
3. Provide a place to rage
What can also help is to give your toddler a place of his own where he can get away from it all. This will eventually calm many children down. Make sure you make it clear to your child that it is not a punishment. Put him in a quiet place and tell him for example: ‘Here you can be angry for a while’. This way, you allow him or her to feel emotions without shame.
4. Take your child seriously
Sometimes it’s hard not to burst out laughing when your toddler makes another big mistake. He may go crazy because you haven’t snapped his sandwich into enough pieces, or because you’ve sat at the wrong chair at the table. But no matter how hilarious you find the situation, try to take your child seriously. It may not be a problem for you, but it is very serious for him at that moment. Remember that a toddler’s world still is quite small and that this can be a big issue for them. Do not belittle their challenges.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously!
It is important to set boundaries and raise your child as well as possible. But you don’t always have to be strict. It is just as important to have fun together. So don’t take yourself too seriously and run around the garden barefoot or eat with your hands! This strengthens your bond with your child and makes them remember you as a great parent, once they are grown up.