Pint-sized Dictators: Toddlers
Encyclopedia Britannica defines toddlers as a child who is between 12 and 36 months old (1 to 3 years). At this age, toddlers start to walk, use basic words and try to understand what things in the house are used for. They love to play and are likely to expand their social horizon, and evolve emotionally. This exploration often makes them realize that they are separate individuals. As their ideas and feelings start getting bigger, lack of vocabulary and words makes them feel perplexed. The inability to assert their individuality while conveying their individual thoughts results in frustration and signs of temper tantrums.
Between age 1 to 3 years, toddlers begin to grow intellectually and emotionally. They are intended to push their boundaries to explore the world. But their actions and behaviors often pretend to confuse and frustrate parents as they feel helpless to convey their thinking process. Here the role of parents is to take a mature turn. Parents are required to understand their toddler’s behavior and help them to navigate the tide of strong emotions he/she is experiencing. What toddlers really need is parental guidance to figure out how to cope with emotions.
Understanding Toddler Tantrums?
Tantrums are emotional outbursts that come in all shapes and sizes. This involves spectacular explosions of anger ranting, frustration, violence, and disorganized behavior. One might also see crying, screaming, kicking, falling down, stiffening limbs, arching back, or running away. In some cases, children hold their breath, vomit, break things or get aggressive as part of a tantrum.
These irrational behaviors in children of this age can be attributed to their stage of social and emotional development. Toddlers often don’t have the words to express their great emotions and face difficulty in figuring out how to express his or her feelings in an acceptable way. They are indeed testing their growing independence and are discovering the way how their behavior can influence others.
Older toddlers may develop feelings that swing wildly from moment to moment. They may be joyful when getting an ice-cream and then despair when it drips on their hands. Older toddlers may also begin to learn how to manage their strong feelings. They may use words or actions to get their care-givers’ attention or ask for help. They begin to talk to themselves in a reassuring way when feeling frustrated or frightened.
It is often seen that learning to cope with strong feelings usually happens naturally as children develop better language skills in their third year. As their experience increases with peers and following rules, they tend to use more words to convey their emotions better than before. Although they tend to master self-control of their emotion when they arrive at school-age, but completely master one’s emotion in itself, a sketchy task even for a grown adult.
What can be done to manage Toddlers’ behavior?
- Read books together with every day: Let your child turn pages and point to pictures.
- Talk with your child about everyday things.
- Teach new words.
- Play with your child on the floor.
- Let your child help with the chores.
- Play dress-up.
- Praise your toddler for good behavior.
- Set clear rules and be consistent.
- Help your child learn how to share.
- Exercise together by jumping, running, and walking.
Toddlers and Parents
Parents may also set certain goals of discipline to help their toddlers to choose acceptable behaviors and learn self-control. Toddlers may test the limits you establish for them, but those limits are needed to help them grow into responsible adults. But it should be kept in mind that you can’t expect kids to do everything simply because you, as a parent, “say so.” They want and deserve your explanations as much as the adults do. As a parent, one needs to take time out to explain vocabulary and their attached behaviors and emotions. If not done timely, kids will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether they have any basis.
Young kids learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The younger they are, the more cues they intend to take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about it again. Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? It should be always considered that you’re constantly being watched by your kids. And your every action, behavior, and emotion has an impact on the child’s learning.
Parenting a toddler can be a physical, emotional, and socially challenging task. It involves consistency and routine focused on developing intellectual abilities and independence in children. Parents can look towards finding a match between expectations, discipline while providing avenues for the child’s physical, social and emotional development. Parents with toddlers should be knowledgeable about the impact of their parenting so that their children will grow productively. While playing a crucial role in allowing children to expand their social and intellectual horizons, parents must engage with their toddlers to be more productive and responsible.
“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.”
– Sue Atkins
Psychologists as mental health care providers play a major role in understanding biological, behavioral, and social factors that influence mental health and physical wellbeing. Dr. (Prof) R K Suri, Senior Clinical Psychologist at Psychowellness Center, is a trained professional clinical psychologist, having more than 36 years of experience in all kinds of mental health issues and related therapeutic interventions.
Furthermore, TalkToAngel online mental health services under him put your needs first. They can help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.
Recommended for you