The trials and tribulations of the Toddler years.
So my little man is now a toddler and with that there are new challenges from when he was a baby. Now he has his own mind of what he wants to do and when. Although challenging – I am loving this time! It is great to see Rayyan’s character really showing through. His little grumpy moods on the way to and from childcare, his hysterical laughter over things we are not sure what he is laughing about, the constant unintelligible chatter and his mischievous smile. My favourite is when he is ‘reading’ a book; turning the pages and retelling the story out loud with no words distinguishable to us. However, this does come with the disrupted bedtime routines, fussy eating and the now impossibility of taking him shopping without Rayyan wanting to go where he wants and grab what he wants.
I did a bit of research into how to tackle some of the more ‘challenging’ toddler moments. I hope you find it interesting (obviously, I am not an expert so if you are having any issues you are concerned about please seek professional help):
Temper Tantrums – to start with, this is very common in toddlers! Causes can vary. It could be tiredness, stress, hunger, overstimulation or frustration because they are unable to communicate what they want or need. There are ways to handle tantrums depending on how severe they are. Try to start noticing what triggers the tantrum so you can try to step in and distract them when you start seeing signs of a tantrum brewing. If your child is throwing temper tantrums while shopping maybe try to take them at a different time of the day when they might not get as tired or overstimulated. I know it can be hard but it is important for you to try to remain calm…or at least try to look as though you are staying calm! J Try to ignore the tantrum if you can, as you don’t want your child to start thinking that a tantrum gets your attention – they will, in turn, happen more frequently. If the tantrum is more severe, we have tried the “time out” method by putting Rayyan in his cot, only for a minute or two, and we have found this to be really effective on him. Although, it’s up to you if you are comfortable with this approach. Here are some links which offer more in-depth advice on temper tantrums:
Not wanting to share – Sharing is quite difficult for toddlers as they don’t have the capacity to empathise with others. So sharing does not come naturally to them. It is possible to guide them to sharing by sharing things with them yourself and praising them when they do the same. Or tell them stories that feature other kids sharing or play games where they learn to share. When your toddler is playing with friends and you see them sharing, make sure you praise their good work.
Fussy eating – Again, this is so common for toddlers as their appetite goes up and down. They like one thing one day and then dislike it the next. They are asserting their independence of making choices – it does improve the older they are. If you are worried that they are not getting enough food at all and don’t have energy then it is probably best to seek medical advice. Ways to improve your toddlers eating habits are eating with them, making it a fun social occasion, turning the TV off, getting them to help in the kitchen or offering them a choice of a couple of healthy things so they still feel like they are making the choice. I know I find it really stressful when Rayyan refuses to eat anything but a yoghurt but I try to tell myself the next night he will be the opposite and will eat plenty. These two facts might give you some comfort:
- Around half of all toddlers refuse to eat a new food at least half of the time.
- Most parents are concerned about their child’s eating habits.
2 facts above are taken from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/toddlers-and-fussy-eating
I hope you all found this useful, please feel free to comment and share any hints and tips below. Also leave any suggestions of what other topics you would like to explore.