If you have ever observed a toddler meltdown in public, whether you are a parent or an innocent bystander, you might wonder what in the world could be going on.
While sometimes there is no logical answer to that question, it might be worth it to dig a little deeper to see if there are ways to sidestep stoppable tantrums.
Need some guidance? Here are some suggestions on how to avoid ten toddler meltdowns in one day!
Make sure your toddler is getting enough sleep
Pediatricians recommend an average of 11-14 hours of sleep per day for the average toddler. Some may function on 9-10 while others need 15-16 depending on different variables. If your toddler has a considerable deprivation of sleep when combining night plus nap times, perhaps this might be the source.
Feed them a nutrient-dense breakfast
Toddlers typically sound the wake-up alarm because their metabolic alarm wakes them up. The first thing they need (in addition to snuggle time!) is a nutritious breakfast. Sugary cereal or a breakfast on-the-go could result in probable cause for fallout before the first errand is complete. Having sit-down time to eat a well-round first meal without rushing results in full tummies and positive energy to bring on the day.
Stay strong during whining and tantrums
If every whine or tantrum is reinforced when at home by giving in unreasonably to make them happy, you can pretty much increase odds that habits will form and this behavior will most likely continue out and about. Kids who get what they want for using manners like “please” and “thank you” at home will keep it together outside their natural habitat too!
Keep errand-running with a toddler in tow to a minimum
We moms always have errands to run, but dragging around a toddler or even a few can slow us down and for good reason. If we don’t like running errands how can a toddler be expected to enjoy? Sitters are great option if you want to knock out those errands quick and toddlers get to enjoy playing, which can be a win-win for everyone. Limiting errands or making stops without kids in tow on the way to work can spread out these tasks.
Eat meals on time
Ever heard the term “hangry”? Toddlers will switch from slightly hungry to hangry in a hot second. Drag that little one around too long or let them drag out playground time just a little bit too long and the monster could emerge in 0-60 seconds! Having consistent mealtimes and sticking to them can help.
Make a habit of putting the phone down during family time. Toddlers probably want to play with mommy’s phone too especially when it looks so interesting. The truth is kids will take negative attention over no attention and they will pull your strings in public places and at home when they feel you’re not present with them.
Let them pick out their own clothes
When we select our own clothes and we like how we look in our outfits, we feel like a million bucks! Toddlers aren’t much different, so giving them a couple choices and letting them choose what they like will make them smile, feel empowered and reduce crankiness. Who cares if they match? Kids who pick their clothes can be the best entertainment for all!
Make grocery shopping interactive and fun
Got to get the grocery shopping with toddler in tow? Make it a fun game of I spy with my little eye or something that engages learning, communication and keeps them interacting. Offer a bakery cookie treat and a horse ride as a positive reinforcement at the end to give them something to look forward to for being mom’s helper!
Put them down for naps outside of car cat-naps
Toddlers need at least 1½ to 2 hour naps to get into all required sleep stages so unless you have a super long commute, it’s not too likely they will have enough time to sleep properly in the car. Transitions from car to bed at home are less than successful without waking them up and cutting the nap short.
Have a dependable bedtime routine
Who needs routines? We all do! And for toddlers, consistent routines actually help body rhythms to have dinner, family time, bath and storytime on a similar schedule each night to make going to sleep predictable and enjoyable. (Start early and ensure mom can clock out early with wine time to spare before bed too!)
Above all, enjoy the toddler years! They are growing up quickly learning new things. Parents are kids’ first teachers and can critically impact forming their child’s behavior.
The key is to be mindful that toddlers want to be their own boss, so provide needs, directions, boundaries and positive teaching which sets them up for successful outings so they can be little leaders everywhere they go in life.