One key to parenting is understanding. A toddler is a wonderful and fun little being. One of my kids just went through that phase and another one is just entering it. What joy they can be. They entertain, frustrate, and exasperate but you cannot help loving them! Their expressive faces, their busy hands, and the sound of their feet running can bring joy to a parent’s heart. The problem appears when it is time to discipline them. There are several reasons why toddlers can be so challenging. It is hard to control a natural curiosity for the world around them. In fact, as long as they are not hurting themselves or others such curiosity should be encouraged. Once they start walking and able to get to the wonderful objects they could only look at, the problems begin. They want to explore and handle the items formerly out of reach. The two top reasons it is hard to discipline and manage a toddler is; they are finally able to move around freely on their own, and they are learning to control their hands and learning motor skills.
A toddler soon finds out they have vocal cords and are trying to make them work. There verbal skills are improving but not yet at full power. It is hard to understand what they are trying to say and it can be frustrating for both parent and child. This new skill can be a blessing because now your child can tell you what they need or what hurts. It can also be frustrating trying to figure out what your child means when he says “anhaf.” How are you to know that they have applied that term to every substance that is put on another substance? For instance, ketchup, salt, and perfume! That is what happened to one mother and until she figured that out she had many frustrating moments with her toddler.
Toddlers also want to try making different noises to see how they sound to them and for the reactions of the adults around them. They try out different noises and watch for reactions from parents and grandparents, then repeat the sounds repeatedly if they get the reaction that pleases them. It can be frustrating before your child can talk, but it can be frustrating when they do talk. Wait for the first time your child gives you a “no” response!
Young children at this age are learning to be independent and have a mind of their own. They are learning to think even though their thinking is not always logical at that age. A one-year old will impulsively go right into an activity without much thinking. A two-year-old will look around and study the environment before starting the activity. Sometimes the toddler has the need to carry out a task but does not yet have the motor skills to accomplish it. That does not always stop them from trying to do it and it can be frustrating and exasperating to a parent. Giving the child an explanation why they can’t do the action often is not enough. They will have to be shown or allow them to make their attempts and suffer the results. This can be a trying time for a parent.
When toddlers are around two they become their own little person. You can often place a name on their temperament. They often are found to be bubbly, a daredevil, determined, and stubborn! Each toddler is different and will react to situations in different ways. Some may be timid and will welcome a rescue from an unsafe position. You also may have a child that will be determined to climb to the top of any counter to get to the cookie jar. The trick for parents is to allow them the freedom to learn, but keep them from getting hurt. This is a fine line and difficult to discover.