live_comm_6632I am a first time mum and I'm dumbfounded at how difficult my two year old can be. She has regular meltdowns, refuses to do what I ask, and is generally non stop from dawn to dusk (with a two hour sleep in between). When do toddlers grow out of such behaviour? First time, exhausted, mum of a tot

Parenting is certainly an exhausting and challenging job.  Some children are definitely more challenging than others.  Regardless of your childs particular personality the age of 1-2 years is full on with ‘running everywhere’ the age 2-3 years is full on with ‘ the ability to say NO and to see what mummy does about it’.

My suggestions for keeping up with your daughter are several.  Have a routine at home for the day and by this I mean regular meal, play and sleep times.  Have a routine that also has inside play time, outside playtime, aim to get your child outside twice a day, morning and afternoon.  Plan it by the weather – outside early when it’s cooler, inside when hotter.  Even then child of this age thrive on structure and activities – so when it’s inside time, have a list of all the different type of play activites, go down the list and decide what to put out, set up next ie. Puzzle, blocks, cars.  Allow about ½ for an activity and aim to change it.  If of course your child in busy and engrossed, then let her continue to play.

Make sure she is getting about 12 hours sleep at night plus a 2 hour or more day sleep, this will certainly cut down on the amount of tantrums and refusals to co-operate that you will need to deal with.

Next have a few different strategies up your sleeve for dealing with difficult behaviour.  Include, planned ignoring, 1,2,3 magic a time out strategy for when a behaviour must stop, teaching & talking, distraction and listening to feelings.  The main ones you should be using will be the first three.

If you are going out, be sure it is in the mornings, avoid afternoons for activities, play dates, grocery shopping – they are just too tired and so are you.  If you get a handle on your routine and how to deal with behaviour you will reap the benefits and so will your daughter for years.

 

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