5 Ways Moms Create Cranky Toddlers
What happened to your baby? He was so angelic, quiet and kind. But one day something happened — something that you had never planned. Your baby transformed into a cranky, demanding, highly emotional and discontent toddler. Is there something you did to create this? Possibly.
It is possible to have a content, happy and obedient toddler. It just takes work, honesty on your part, prayers and an open heart that says, “If I need to change my mothering style, I will.”
Check out this list and see if any of these negative mothering techniques are similar to yours.
5 Ways Moms Create Cranky Toddlers
They reward whining. It’s so easy to hand over that piece of candy your child whines for! No one likes to hear a child whine or cry — it has to be one of the worst sounds in the universe! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you give a toddler what he whines for, he’ll be quiet and smile — for a little while, at least. However, when you give your toddler everything he whines for, you are teaching him it is acceptable to whine. You are also teaching him it is good to whine, because you are rewarding him for his whining. He wants a cookie — he whines. He wants to get out of his car-seat — he whines. He wants to walk instead of sit in the grocery cart — he whines. What do you do? You give him the cookie, take him out of the car-seat and let him walk instead of ride in the shopping cart. Though none of those desires are bad, he is learning that he can control his mom. He can make you do whatever he wants you to do; all he has to do is whine. This creates a bigger and scarier monster. It creates a cranky toddler that is constantly whining — I mean constantly! The first moment he doesn’t get his desires, he initiates the no-fail tactic — whining. Mom, don’t give into this attitude! It will only hurt your child now and in the future. Trust me. I have seen whiny kids turn into whiny adults, and it is not a pretty picture.
They never establish a routine for their toddler. Kids are resilient, right? Well, maybe not as much as people think. If your toddler lacks structure throughout the day, his or her day is filled to the brim with uncertainties. Some of these may include:
Will he take a nap? Will he have outside play time? Will he eat dinner before he takes a bath or after? Will he have a story before bed or just a kiss and hug?
You see, there is no certainty in his life, so he always feels “out of the loop.” Consider your own life. Do you feel like you have it altogether if you follow amorning routine before heading out to work? Do you have a better start to your day if you follow a coffee first, then breakfast, then shower routine? Do you feel out-of-whack if you shower first then have coffee? Just like adults, toddlers thrive and feel more in control of their lives if there is some sort of schedule and predictability to the day. Yes, things may need to be rearranged for an unforeseen sickness or event, but following a typical, daily schedule has many more benefits than moms realize.
They spend very little quality time with their toddler. We know parents living in this day and age are extremely busy. Schedules are always getting crunched and people are constantly trying to save more time. However, your child needs you to spend quality time and quantity time with him every single day. Take time to get on his eye level and ask him about the events of the day. Wrap your arms around him and give loads of affection throughout the day. Ask the tiny tots about special times during the day like, “Did you play with your trucks today? Did you see a puppy today? Did you eat a sandwich today?” It’s amazing how much a toddler can understand and communicate with you if you just take the time to listen and connect.
They rush through daily child-care tasks. Do you zoom through feeding your little one breakfast? Do you rush him to his room and dress him as quickly as possible? Buzzing through daily activities can send the signal of, “I’m not enjoying this task of raising you” to your child without you even noticing. Sure, you are exhausted and there are so many things waiting to be done, but take a few extra minutes to talk to your toddler as you take care of him. Point out the shiny buttons, talk about his or her blonde curls and tell him or her about the happenings of the day. This one-on-one conversation with a no-rush attitude helps you and your toddler connect in the necessary duties of a parent.
They are not consistent with discipline. If you set rules in your home, make sure there is a penalty when they are broken. If a toddler hits or screams, make sure you deal with it every single time. When you don’t take time and consistently address your toddler’s negative behavior, you are creating a toddler that only keeps the rules when someone is looking. How many times have you let your toddler get away with negative behavior because you were busy cooking, texting, talking or even on the internet? Turn off the stove and deal with your toddler. Put down the phone and deal with your toddler. Letting your child’s negative behavior continue will only harm him. Care enough for his well-being to make addressing negative behavior a priority!