“Johnny, it’s time to get dressed for the day. Go put your clothes on.” Ten minutes later, Johnny isn’t dressed, but instead, can be found in the corner of his bedroom crying, “I just can’t do it, Mommy. It’s too hard.” Sound familiar?
From getting dressed to drawing a picture, toddlers can turn an everyday task into a full-fledged tantrum. Maybe its the desire for independence or the inability to problem-solve. Whatever the case, dealing with toddler frustration can be difficult for parents. Thankfully, you have more tools than you might think to help your young children navigate their struggles.
Has your child ever struggled to put on clothes? Ever wanted their pants to fit just right? When you factor in their size and abilities, getting dressed is no easy task for little kids. Learning how to help toddlers navigate their frustration is key to early parenting, especially before as little ones prepare to attend preschool.
Cranky Children and Temper Tantrums
Did you know that throwing fits are apart of your child’s development? Commonly displayed by children between the ages of 1 to 3, temper tantrums are one of the few ways your child knows how to control their environment. From whining to screaming, kicking, hitting and even breath-holding, tantrums are the easiest way for children to show they’re struggling and need help.
Pro Tip: Minimize tantrums by establishing a regular routine with your children to make sure they’re getting the right amount of sleep, food, and activity time to help them accomplish tasks.
Dealing with Frustrated Toddlers
Because toddlers are still trying to figure out how to formulate their words and improve their motor skills, simple tasks can become difficult fairly quickly. If your child starts to get frustrated or stressed out, consider these helpful tips to help them cope.
- Show compassion – When children show anger and frustration, having a parent be empathetic and share in the struggle lessens the impact. If your child is having a hard time accomplishing a task, let them know it’s okay to struggle.
- Change the topic – Especially if your child starts to exhibit aggressive behaviors in public, consider changing some part of their frustration. Whether that includes walking to another location or offering a different toy, reorientating your child’s mind can help.
- Get at your toddler’s level – Have you ever stooped down to see what your child sees? When your child shows frustration, drop a knee or sit on the floor to get a better understanding of what they’re experiencing. Getting Mommy and Daddy to their level may be just what your children need to think clearly.
- Celebrate effort – It takes a lot of time and determination for a young child to accomplish a task, especially if they’ve failed in the past. If your child is started to struggle, let them know how proud you are for them trying. With parents to root them on, combating challenging behaviors will become easier over time.
- Be an example – Whether you’ve noticed yet or not, your children always watching you. When you get frustrated, show your children the appropriate way of responding. Instead of yelling or blaming someone else, be an honorable example your children can follow. Try your best and ask for help when you can’t do it on your own.
Enjoy the Toddlerhood Season
No matter how many kids you have, the early childhood years are going to be filled with a lot of highs and lows. Don’t be afraid of the strong emotions your children are exhibiting while they’re trying to learn and grow. Before you realize, the season of toddlerhood will be over and the tantrums will soon turn into a faint memory.
How often does your child throw a fit? Connect with our teachers to learn more about dealing with the challenging behaviors of little ones.