Talking about toddlers can be confusing because definitions vary. Here, we’re talking about Merriam-Webster’s “young child usually between one and three years old.” The name is from the bulky-diaper toddling walk, but much more important, is toddler antics. Toddlers are adorable, but there are things I wish my mother had explained a little more about that age. Indeed, there are several things every parent should know about toddler antics.
Toddlers Have Tons of Energy
Reaching the day when your munchkin can walk and talk is exciting. Yet instead of walking, suddenly they run everywhere. It’s like they went directly from crawl to Speed Racer Next Gen and how does anyone keep up? If my mother had mentioned this toddler antic to me, I might have been ready. I would have taken up triathlon training to build speed and endurance. Now, I looked for a good outlet for all that energy, and realized the answer is playtime. Play is not only an effective way for toddlers to burn off energy. It also develops their minds and helps them learn.
Learning is Fun to Toddlers
Toddlers absorb everything they see, taste and hear in their environment. We’ve talked about how much a child’s brain develops in the first three years of their life. It is more than at any other time in a human’s development cycle. What takes a little adjustment for grownups is understanding that everything is “learning” to a toddler. Every taste is a new message, and every experience grows their brains. You can help with everyday games to support your child’s learning.
Toddler Antics is to Want Independence + Cuddles
Though toddlers want to be more independent at this age – Like when they tell you at the top of their lungs “I DO IT!” – they crave your Love and affection. Your hugs, kisses, listening and smiles are just a few of the simple ways you show your child how much he or she means to you every day. Other ways to show that unconditional love is when you share your favorite memory of her, or surprise him with an impromptu afternoon adventure. Taking time with your toddler for simple living is one of the best ways to let them know how much you love them. It’s also a good way to reduce toddler antics for your attention.
Tantrums Become Regular Events
Maybe we should mention keeping that love in the front of your mind when the howling tantrum begins over wearing that dirty favorite shirt for the 3rd day in a row. In toddler antics, tantrums are a method of communication. They have not mastered speech yet, and they have big feelings to share. You can try to limit the fallout. Help your child learn how to talk about emotions. Keep off-limit items out of sight and reach. Decide what things you can give your toddler control over. I like the example of letting your toddler dress themselves for the day, with clean clothes. Having some things they can master helps them feel less frustrated. There will still be tantrums, but maybe a few less.
Mayo Clinic suggests a few extra tips on tantrum relief: Be consistent in daily routines to limit surprises. Try to run errands when your child isn’t hungry or late for a nap. Praise good behavior and limit the “no’s”.