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Kids are great, aren’t they? One day you’re getting up and getting ready for work without distractions, and the next, you’re arguing with a miniature version of yourself about putting their socks on. It’s exhausting to parents of toddlers.
The defiance and fierce independence that they display is wonderful. Exhaustingly wonderful.
Toddlers, on the whole, are more challenging to deal with than newborn babies or older children. The toddler years fall into that wonderful stage between having very basic needs and the stage of being able to articulate what they want from you.Toddlers are a lot like teenagers, which means they can be very moody. Lucky us! Learn why they act like that. Click To Tweet
The only problem with this is that the toddler years often do not come with speech – which means they communicate their needs by crying, yelling, and throwing tantrums.
There are a lot of reasons for toddlers to be moody. Their emotions swing from hysterical laughter to crying in a second, and it can be very tiring trying to keep up with them and their mixed emotions.
If you’ve created a perfect sleep space, you can’t blame their mood on their lack of sleep. Sure, not all toddlers are sleeping through the night, but that doesn’t always affect their mood. However, there are some other valid reasons that your toddler is flipping out – even if you don’t understand them all.
The world is a vast, fascinating place that is continually changing, and for your toddler, that can be overwhelming.
Without proper speech, it can be challenging for them to articulate to you what it is they want. They then get frustrated very quickly and start shrieking.
Some parents invest in mood cards and activity cards with pictures and direct their toddler to the cards to help them point out what it is that they want.
Toddlers want your attention, and they want that attention NOW. Not in two minutes, not when you have your hands free, and not when you have a moment – NOW.
They have no concept of time, so the idea that your toddler can understand the phrase ‘in a minute’ is laughable.
Distraction works great here, as they have no idea how to manage their emotions quickly enough. Change their attitude with toys or even bubbles, and you can avoid a tantrum.
Toddlers Hate Change
Toddlers do not like change. They like routines and regular meals, and they want to understand exactly what comes next.
This is all the more important if you have an autistic child. Trust me, you want to avoid autism meltdowns and aggression as much as possible.
If you aren’t able to keep up with their routine change, you’re going to struggle to keep them from melting down.
Give your toddler more than one option to keep them distracted, and you can change things up as you like. Sometimes, no matter how much you try, distraction doesn’t work.
Toddlers get frustrated, and all the emotions that they are feeling are complicated and difficult for them to manage. Try not to stem their emotional outbursts, just redirect them. You don’t want to teach them that how they feel is wrong, even if it is hard to deal with. Good luck!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.