Children are life’s most wonderful blessings but you have to admit, they’re no angels at all times. It’s quite natural for toddlers to test your patience often because they’re still developing their behaviour and discovering what’s right from wrong (on top of their endless reservoir of energy).

When you’re at your wit’s end with your little one, follow these tips to staying patient with toddlers:

Level with your child

In situations like this, you have to stop thinking like a grown-up! More often than not, especially with young kids, their troublesome behaviour isn’t deliberate. It mainly stems from either frustration or innocence. That’s why when they’re acting “bad”, treat it as a teaching moment – say what you need to say, ask questions, then move on. Have the extra patience knowing that if they can’t communicate what they want properly, they’ll act out. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand in their level.

Offer choices

Nobody wants to be told what to do all day, even children. Being told “no” to almost everything will naturally frustrate them. When they ask for something and you won’t allow it, give them another option. For example, if your little one asks for a lollipop right before bedtime, you can politely explain why she can’t have one then offer a glass of milk instead. This way, she doesn’t feel like she can’t do anything or have anything at all.

Observe your own behaviour

Kids watch you and pick up on your actions more than you know. If you whine a lot, complain when there’s nothing good on tv, raise your voice when you’re upset or don’t finish everything on your plate during meals? Don’t expect your little one to have perfect behaviour when you yourself are showing some bad habits. Always be careful about what you say or do around your kid because you are their role model!

Let things be

One of the best parenting advice you can get – don’t sweat the small stuff. If they spill paint on the floor, played with your lipstick or made some other mistake, it’s really not worth your time and energy if you get mad and scold your child. Correct the mistake and leave it at that. Simply put, let kids be kids!

Kids won’t have maximized their childhood if they didn’t get on their parents’ nerves! Just follow these effective tips to staying patient with toddlers!

Angela Kidd is an author a

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