If you are reading this post it is because you either have toddlers that you want some help understanding or you’re getting ready for the toddler phase and want to get as prepared as one can for the upcoming phase of life. Either way, what I am going to talk about is going to change how you view your toddlers and your role as their mother during this time of their life.
Society has labeled the two-year-old stage as terrible and the three-year-old stage as horrific. When we do this, we add a layer of intense emotion onto an already intense phase of life. Stop feeding into the lies that these are terrible and horrific stages of your toddler’s life. I promise that as you drop this line of thinking, it will automatically allow you to enjoy your toddlers a little bit more.
I mentioned that this is an intense time in your toddler’s life. It’s a time full of learning boundaries, how to get needs met, and what to do when life doesn’t go how you wish. Up until this point, your children have typically done what you have wanted them to do, or at least they haven’t resisted your instruction as much. But now, your toddlers have the cognitive ability to explore, make decisions, and understand that they have needs. The biggest problem that I see with my clients that have toddlers is that the parents have a hard time doing four things; relinquishing a little control, setting proper boundaries, expressing clear expectations, and allowing children to be upset without getting upset themselves.
What I am not suggesting is that you give your toddlers free rein but instead give them parameters to live within.
So when it comes to you preparing to embark on the toddler journey with your kiddos here are my suggestions.
1-Get clear with what you want to expect out of them and what you want the consequence to be when they don’t meet expectations. Most of the situations that my clients find themselves frustrated in, it’s because they haven’t been intentional with this aspect of parenting. If you don’t know what you expect from your kids, how are they suppose to know? Oh and pro-tip, kids understand way more than you think that they do, so they can rise to most of your reasonable expectations if you be intentional with them.
2-Plan on your children not listening and following through on expectations half of the time. If you just plan on it then it’s not such a big shock and as intense when they don’t do what you’ve asked them to do. This is them testing those boundaries, trying to understand life. You can lovingly enforce the consequence to help them understand boundaries and from my experience, most people learn quicker when they are taught in a loving, kind, and compassionate way. People tend to shut down when we yell. They might respond more quickly when we yell but they miss the opportunity to learn because all they are trying to do is get you to stop yelling.
3-Understand that when tantrums are happening it is just your child’s way of expressing their emotions and trying to get their needs meet. Nothing has gone wrong! Their behavior has nothing to do with the type of mother you are. Let me remind you, you are an amazing mom. And it doesn’t tell us anything about your child’s worth. This doesn’t make them less than in any way, they are whole and their worth is set. It really is them just learning how to navigate their existence and you are the perfect person to help them learn these skills.
If you take on these beliefs about toddlers and their behavior I know that you can be more calm, patient, and in control during the tantrums. Layer on more love, compassion, and understanding for yourself and your children during the phase of life. This will help a ton. Oh, and, remember that it’s just a phase. This too shall pass. However, this is the same work that you have to do with every phase of life, including the teenage phase, so why not practice with the toddlers?
Two and three-year-olds can be so much fun if we focus on the good and be intentional with how we handle the hard. If you would like some support in doing this I’ve got a free resource for you. Click here to get your hands on my guide to being in complete control while your toddler throws tantrums. This guide will change your experience of tantrums, you have to check it out.
Motherhood is hard, but just surviving is optional. These 3 simple things will make motherhood with multiples way easier on yourself. We don't become mothers so that we can feel overwhelmed, stressed, and inadequate all of the time. Implement these 3 simple things and you will feel confident in your motherhood. You can lay your head down each night, feeling successful. Let me make motherhood easier on you, mama, so that you can THRIVE.