Trying to work through meltdowns with a toddler can be exhausting. They are trying to learn to communicate and are filled with emotions. Every child has a different personality and temperament than another child. We have to make sure we try different strategies to get through to our child, in a positive manner.
Below are some positive parenting tips for toddlers who are strong-willed. When you hit your limit, and you just are at your wit’s end, try these tips below. You have nothing else to lose, right?
Tips for Parenting a Toddler Who Is Strong-willed:
Lead by Example: The way you react to certain situations is an essential component. Your child watches you to learn how to react in certain circumstances. Make sure to keep calm, don’t yell and handle thing gracefully.
What is Going On: Take a good look at your child and see why they are behaving the way they are. Is it because their little brother is getting all the attention, and they act out. Are you ignoring them when they try to talk? Most of the time, kids act out because something is bothering them. So try to honestly evaluate the situation.
Say In a Different Way: If you tell your child, “Stop Hitting” and it gets you nowhere, try a calmer approach. Maybe say, “be gentle when you do that please.” This method feels less harsh to children.
Praise When they Do Listen: Make sure to take time to acknowledge when your child does something positive! When they listen right away, show positive affirmations. Let them know you appreciate them listening and doing as they are told. This will help them see they get praised when they do the right things.
Gentle Physical Contact: The power of physical contact, is amazing. You need to be gentle when you touch your child, to show that you understand their emotions. By touching their hand or shoulder, it shows you are there with them communicating you know they are upset, but they can’t act that way. It shows you are on their side, and they won’t feel attacked.
Stay Strong: If your child just got in trouble for doing something wrong, and they are in time out. Tell them to find you when they want a hug when their time is up. Say this in a calm, loving way, so they know you love them. Whatever you tell them to do as a consequence of their actions, you stand firm, and then when it is over offer a loving hug if they want it. Most kids will come running for a big embrace. They don’t mean to upset you or be naughty; they are just learning.
Redirect: Instead of saying no non-stop, try redirecting their attention. Say you are out shopping and your child is throwing a fit. Ask them to help get an item from the shelf, or to hold on to a food to help mommy out. Try to offer a new toy, if they are throwing a fit because they want what another kid has. Just try to redirect whenever you can.
Overall your child just wants love and attention. Sometimes it is hard to fully give it to them, and you might find they act up. Just try to have patience in those hard moments of your little tike’s meltdown, and know that soon they will listen and all will be well. This is just a season of learning right from wrong.