Parenting is a whole new dimension when you have a toddler. Now your sweet baby has learned to speak and isn’t afraid to cry or throw themselves on the ground to get what they want. From the taste of morning toothpaste to choosing just the right bedtime nightwear, it’s not only what they want but wanting it right now! Toddlers are like little tyrants! Right? They’ve created their own rules now and they want to try and test everything (and everyone) that they will come across.

It is a challenging stage for parents but life can be a little easier (for you both) by following these parenting tips for toddlers.

1. Shift Their Focus: First, try to connect with your toddler emotionally. Only then you will be able to distract them with something else because they trust you completely. Unfortunately, toddlers don’t get distracted easily. You can try to guide them towards an activity that is a bit closer to their original demand.

If your toddler wants a drink in their favorite sipper and you are unable to find it, offer the drink in another sipper with a new straw. You can also give them the option to choose another sipper or cup that are available. Options will help them forget what they were upset about and freaking out. They might forget the feeling of helplessness in the process of selection and new choices available to them.

2. Show Empathy: Kids get restless when they are not heard. If you let them know that you understand what they are trying to say, half the battle is won. Toddlers need to know that you hear them positively and understand their feelings. In this way, their demands decrease. Before saying ‘no’ you can validate your child’s feelings. It will convert his disappointment into a meltdown.

If your toddler wants to go to a park, you can listen to them calmly and respond accordingly. You can say, ‘I know you want to go out for some fun. I also wanted to go with you but the weather is not allowing us to go today. Once the weather is better, we will definitely go to the park.’ It will reassure your child’s demand and they will understand that you listened and promised to go later. But never make fake promises as it will only result in a bad child behavior later on.

3. Prepare Them Emotionally: We all get irritated when we are upset. So you need to be prepared with toddlers every time. It is one of the best parenting tips for toddlers. Avoid planning an outing when your child is upset or tired. If it is important to go out, take along their favorite snacks, drinks, and a stroller to make them comfortable. To avoid frustrating situations, do your best by taking out extra time for any activity. In case your child gets frustrated with a particular activity, keep half an hour margin so they will not feel rushed.

4. Empower Your Child: You can let your toddler feel empowered and capable by involving them in decision making. It will assure their voice matters. You can ask them to pick an activity or snack by giving them options. 

5. Stick to a Routine: If you change their routine suddenly, they might throw tantrums. You can prepare your toddler in advance that you might change things later this week. You can introduce changes gradually after discussing them.


This post originally appeared on Wonder Parenting.