Thrilling two’s or terrible two’s. I think I would go with both. I am talking about toddlers today. The most vivacious, audacious and imperious beings on the planet. I live this reality every day. When I prayed to god to give me patience, he hands me a toddler and tells me “There you go, she is going to be your spiritual partner in patience” But I don’t want to learn patience this way, give me something easy.
Well, patience was never easy. Was it? After my daughters 2nd birthday, I didn’t realize that I would see such a metamorphosis. I mean literally, she is a social butterfly with different colors and always on the go. Her personality changed completely. From being this gentle and cute munchkin to this feisty and headstrong, still cute bossy pants. I even thought, is there something wrong with her?
Well, everything is right with her. On close observation, she is doing what children are supposed to do. They are meant to be irrational, fearless to the point that your heart‘s at your throat and be defiant. On the other side, you are welcomed with surprise hugs and kisses making your heart swell and they start talking about how they feel.
So, today I am sharing few tricks to maintain peace at home. Toddlers like to control and make their own choices. We have to respect their development, but at the same time keep them safe and healthy. These are few things that I’ve tried at home and seemed to work 60% of the time. The other times, I just leave her to it with someone watching her or else I might just a punch a hole in the wall!
- Counting backwards– 5, 4,3,2,1. If your toddler can count from 1 to 10, then this is a good one, to help them to move from one activity to another. If you count backwards, the counting stops at 1. I started from 1, 2, 3 and you know what happened? She took over and was counting until 20. It was hilarious.
- Give choices- This is because, toddlers like control. When you give them a choice, it creates a sense of control for them, the ‘power of choice’. Also, it helps us in giving them healthy and doable options. Like showing them, ‘Do you want raisins or banana?’ It is easier for children to point at it, even if they can’t say the words fully.
- Statements- Sometimes, it’s better making a statement rather than posing a question. If you want your child to go to bed, and you ask them ‘Are you ready for bed now?’ The most obvious answer is going be a ‘No’. You gave them an option. Instead you can say, we have three more minutes and then its bedtime.
- The art of cleaning up- I couldn’t agree more with Marie Kondo (If you don’t know who she is, google her. She is the goddess of tidying up) Her children are always part of the cleaning up process at home. They even fold clothes! Wow. So, cleaning up is a must in our household. We help her, but she is the leader in the process. I have seen her do that almost voluntarily after playing with her toys. It brings a sense of responsibility and structure to their daily lives. So make sure, they clean up their own mess with a little help from us.
Toddlers are going to push our buttons and be unapologetically themselves. However, in between all that chaos, the most I remember are the warm cuddles, kisses and most of all their willingness to be fully present with you.
- Early language development Handouts