As your lil mama grows into her new found toddlerhood, she will be testing the great big world around her- including your patience!
Many can find the age of 2 quite challenging, or as some might say “terrible”. But this phase of your little one’s life can be turned from terrible to terrific with the right attitude, better understanding and a little help to guide you along the way!
Here are some facts and helpful tips for navigating life with your 2 year old:
What To Expect:
While every child is different and come set with their own unique personalities, interests and developmental timeline, some general things you can expect from your toddler are:
- An ever growing vocabulary
- Asserting their independence
- Still wanting to be babied
- Learning problem solving
- Increased mobility
- Difficulty sharing, waiting, taking turns, and impulse control
- Difficulty with transitions
- Changes in their eating and sleeping habits
Positive Parenting Tips For Your 2 Year Old:
Just as you are learning and gaining understanding of this new phase in your child’s life, your baby girl is doing the same! While frustration can come easily, helping her to find ways to deal with her big feelings can make the experience enjoyable for all!
Here are some positive and encouraging ways to support their growth and development:
Your child wants to be heard and understood just like anyone else. When she expresses frustration, try to place yourself in her shoes and speak words that let her know that you understand the challenge she’s facing, even if you don’t agree.
Set your child up for the best behavior and avoid placing your child in situations that you know will trigger a tantrum or negative feelings (i.e. walking by the toy section, passing their favorite restaurant, eating their favorite snack while they’re present, etc.)
Limit the word “no”, say “yes” more
The word “no” is an immediate red flag for most toddlers and can instantly put them on the defensive. Turn that no into a yes, but with condition. Saying yes to your child does not mean giving in to their every whim, instead it allows you to avoid negative emotional blow back while teaching your baby girl about boundary setting, leveraging options, and reward systems.
Expand her vocabulary
Much of your toddlers frustration simply comes from lacking the ability to properly express how they feel. Give her a positive push by introducing simple but effective phrases she can use to voice her needs and feelings.
Disengage and keep your cool
Fighting fire with fire only makes it grow. While it may be difficult, it’s important to remain calm and not feed into your child during tantrums or periods of negative behavior. Toddlers are sponges and your actions of kindness and calmness during difficult moments will only serve as an example to help them deal with future feelings in a more positive way.
Set boundaries and stick to them
A part of your baby girl’s new found toddlerdom is testing limits- of everything. It’s important to set boundaries that use positive language and that are easy to understand and follow. This creates a positive relationship with rules and boundaries and teaches them the importance of safety. Sticking to the boundaries you set in place creates the clear guidelines and stability that your toddler needs and can limit unnecessary frustrations and tantrums due to lack of understanding and inconsistency when rules are enforced.
Stick to a proper sleep schedule
Even adults get cranky without an adequate amount of rest, so it’s only natural that your toddler will feel the same. It’s recommended that your budding 2 year old gets at least 11 hours of sleep per day, whether that be from implementing an early bedtime or simply making sure they get a proper nap time throughout the day. Get creative and find what works for you and your little one.
Show her some love
While this new phase of life can be fun and exciting, remember that growing up is hard. It is also common for little ones to act out more readily when they feel rejected or a lack of love. Do your lil mama (and yourself) a BIG favor and be sure to set aside time to show her a little extra love and attention during these crucial developmental years.
The most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself!
These are years that you’ll never get back and you want to be sure to cherish them. Stay positive, take a deep breath, remember that everything takes time.
You are capable of transforming the two’s from terrible to terrific! You’ve got this mama.