The terrible twos. Any parent who has had a toddler before can attest to the fact that when it comes to dealing with the growing pains of having a little one, usually it’s far more stressful on the adult than it ever is the child. As babies are making the transition from newborn to a “bigger little person”, they are oftentimes testing limits, throwing temper tantrums and sometimes flat-out disobeying as they’re finding ways to cultivate their own sense of independence in the world.
Some days, it’s amazing to watch. On others though, it’s enough to drive every person over the age of 10 completely nuts! So, if you have a new toddler in your house and maintaining patience seems like a fantasy rather than a reality, here are some ways to make it a constant presence in your home.
1. Count to 10
Practically any anger management class is going to bring up the fact that when you’re feeling upset, it’s always a good idea to count to 10 before doing or saying anything that you could end up regretting. Aside from it giving you a little time to calm down, if you’re focusing on the counting itself, you’re usually not rehearsing what frustrated you over and over in your mind either. Counting to 10 gives you time to figure out how to respond rather than react.
2. Exercise regularly
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Exercise is awesome, not only because it’s good for your overall health and well-being, but it also significantly reduces stress. A part of how it does that is by releasing endorphins that are within your body. Some exercises that are directly related to decreasing stress are yoga, aerobics, and Pilates. We know that you can’t always run to a class every time your toddler frustrates you, but what you can do is run in place or do some jumping jacks for a couple of minutes. We mentioned the other things as an encouragement to sign up for a course; it will help to keep your mind, body and spirit more centered before an episode with your toddler ever happens.
3. Try and get more rest
Source: Alpha Mom
People who are sleep-deprived are oftentimes moody and irritable, and those are two things that you definitely do not want to be when you’re raising a toddler. We know it might seem a bit ridiculous to recommend eight hours of sleep each night, but try to get no less than six and if/when your toddler goes down for a nap, try taking one yourself. Things look a whole lot better when you’ve had some rest.
4. Stay abreast of your "triggers"
Unfortunately, some people like to put pressure on moms to act as if they are not human. Like they shouldn’t have pet peeves, even when it comes to their children’s behavior. But really, who longs to experience a child on the ground, screaming at top of their lungs while crying and kicking in the grocery store? If you know that nothing gets under your skin more than a temper tantrum, and your child is known for throwing them in public places, consider two things: not taking them with you when you shop (if that’s possible) or mentally preparing yourself for what may be inevitable. If you’re not shocked by what could transpire, you’ll be better equipped to handle it when it does.
5. Set up play dates
Source: Pop Sugar
Play dates are not only beneficial for the child, but the parent too. That’s why we’re all for scheduling them at least a couple of times per month! It gives your toddler the opportunity to “run out some of their energy” with someone their own size and also gives you a chance to hold an adult conversation with someone who knows exactly what you are going through. Empathy can certainly go a long way. This brings us to the final point.
Source: Babiekins Magazine
One of the best things that a parent can do for a child is try and see things from their perspective. You might not remember what it was like to be 24-months-old, but you can probably pull up memories of being a child yourself and wanting your parents to let you have your own way. Empathy works in every relationship. It helps to develop understanding and patience. Yes, even between a parent and their energetic, rambunctious yet totally wonderful toddler!