Toddlers are notorious for pushing boundaries and attention seeking behaviours; they are very egocentric – and if you are reading this, you probably know it!
Do you feel like a broken record??
“How many times do I have to tell you (fill in the blanks)”. I’m sure you will agree, its a lot and its overwhelming to the point where you feel like your duckling does not compute.
Toddlers will take attention from you, whether is positive or negative, which is why parenting a toddler is difficult and you are left feeling like you are either going to explode or implode.
One bit of advice I give to clients is “don’t let them know how much they are ruffling your feathers”, even if you feel completely overwhelmed inside, try not to show it and don’t overreact.
The first 5 years of life are very important, and you are setting a foundation for later on (even though I know you are not thinking about the teenage years yet), they will be here before you know it!!
If every time something happens and your feathers are ruffled it can make it harder for children to tell you things or approach you as they get older, worrying as to how you might react.
Try to think of it like this: If you had a friend who always overreacted, or who has an inability to deal with situations calmly, you would probably be more diligent in how you approach this friend of deliver information to this friend. You could worry that she might become upset easily, it might result in you keeping things from her, or only telling her half a story.
This is what can happen to children, they learn its easier to not tell you things, than indulge in whats going on in their life at school or issues between friends, because they don’t want to upset you or cause you stress.
Boundaries and rules are important for all human beings in many faucets of life: society, place of work, school, driving, following a diet – just about anything we do has a set up rules in place, so don’t be afraid to put boundaries in place and don’t be afraid of their reaction, as they are needed.
Do however, try to keep your own behaviour and emotions level – this will help build trust and keep your relationship healthy, from toddlerhood through to the teenage years.