Toddlers will test your patients, there is no doubt about that!
The toddler years are the stage when they begin to push your boundaries further. It leads to frustration, arguments, and less patience.
Want to know how to be patient with toddlers? Then here is my guide…
Assess the situation
One of the biggest problems for being patient with toddlers is that they are not patient themselves. They do not want to sit down and listen to the voice of reason.
So, you will need to be calm and patient for both of you. Often toddlers will start screaming or crying as soon as they are even mildly frustrated. The best thing to do is to assess the situation and then handle it accordingly.
Can the issue be solved right here, right now?
Toddlers can quickly become upset over minor things. The very first thing to do is to figure out what is causing them stress. Is it something minor such as they don’t like the music? Do they not like wearing their socks? Or are they ill?
By figuring out what the problem is, you can know exactly what you can do about it. For example, can you solve it now, or is it a much bigger problem?
Take the example of not wanting to wear socks, often an issue for a lot of toddlers. If this is causing your toddler to be upset and they are playing inside, then this issue is easily solved immediately.
If they are ill, you’ll need to figure out what’s wrong and buy the appropriate medication. After all, nobody likes being sick.
Is it a longer-term solution?
In some cases, the answer may not be as simple as taking off a pair of socks. Your toddler may be poorly or be adverse to certain types of stimulation, such as bright lights or noise. With this, you will need to take more time to figure out a solution.
By taking the time to understand exactly what is causing your toddler distress, you can reduce the emotional impact it will have on them and avoid the situation in the future.
Not only will your toddler be much happier, but their calmer and more relaxed demeanor will help you to be patient with them.
Make a schedule
One of the biggest problems with toddlers is that they get cranky when they’re tired. So, something that would not usually cause them to cry and scream may suddenly seem like a big deal. This is why you should make a nap routine and stick to it.
Keeping to a schedule throughout the day will not only help you to keep your toddler’s emotions under control, but by having regular downtime, you will also give yourself much-needed time to take care of the things that you need to do.
This will take trial and error, and what works the best will be unique to your toddler. Removing the stress of being tired will make it easier to identify if something is a problem rather than simply a mild inconvenience of frustration.
Take time for yourself.
Often with parents of young children, they forget to take some time to themselves. However, this is so important. After all, it’s much easier to be patient if you are calm and relaxed. If you are stressed out, you will not have the emotional capacity to be patient with a screaming toddler.
So, try and fit a little bit of me-time into the day or week. Get a babysitter and go out for a meal with your partner, put your toddler down for a nap and watch a bit of tv. Do whatever works best for you.
If you are less stressed, you’ll be much better equipped to handle a tantrum and figure out the problem and how to deal with it. Remember to tell someone if you are struggling, as they may have some handy tips and tricks for you. Bottling up your stress will only help you to be less patient with your toddler.
Teach them how to deal with their emotions
One of the best tools you can give your toddler is to express how they feel. Often toddlers become increasingly upset and frustrated when they cannot express how they feel or what is upsetting them. This only worsens the situation.
So, from a young age, if you can teach them how to convey the problem, it will help you solve it. You can do this any way that you want, and it may simply be as simple as a chart of different faces displaying certain emotions, asking your toddler to point at which one they are feeling.
Teach them to calm themselves down by showing them that solutions are straightforward and achievable. If you notice that something you are doing is causing repeated tantrums (for example, wearing socks), try to answer this. After all, you cannot expect them to behave calmly if you ignore their signs of upset.
Losing your patience is not good. Losing it with your toddler is even worse!
This guide will help you be more patient, and will hopefully help you calm your temper down in the frequent disagreements you have with your toddler.
The key message is to teach your toddler how to express their emotions correctly, and identify your own triggers too!