It’s the day every parent dreads: the day the terrible twos tantrums start. For some lucky parents, they may never come at all. If your child is one of the more typical two-year-olds, here are some ideas we’ve gathered to try to help your child through his or her toddler years.
- Use positive words. Instead of saying, “Don’t bite!” try saying “We only use our teeth for eating.” Your child will remember the positive words longer and respond better to them.
- Use pictures. Toddlers relate well to pictures, so try labeling toy boxes with pictures of what goes in them, like a picture of a doll on one box and a picture of legos on another. Put a picture schedule in a prominent place so your little one knows what to expect next. A picture of food for lunch and a child napping will help him or her know when to get ready for those activities.
- Distract. The good thing about children’s short attention span is that it’s easy to get their minds off of something they don’t like and onto something they do like. For instance, at the pool, if your child wants to go into the deep end and screams when you don’t let him or her, try distracting your little one by throwing balls or splashing with him or her in the kiddie pool.
- Give your toddler time. Little ones’ minds process slower than yours, so give your toddler warnings a few minutes ahead of time. If it’s time to leave a playdate, tell him or her ten minutes in advance and then five minutes in advance so he or she knows what to expect.
- Be calm. When your child is upset and screaming, it’s easy for you to get upset and frustrated. Do your best to remain calm and to use calm words, because speaking harshly or angrily will only reinforce negative behavior.
There are lots of things you can do to help your child through his or her twos. Those of you who have toddlers, share what you did that helped!