Keeping Your Cool With a Toddler

by Shannon on March 20, 2012

Yep! I admit it, I typed in “yelling at toddler” in Google today.

My daughter is the absolute most precious thing in my life. She’s funny, loving, cute and has just gotten super demanding.

Trinity has been ahead of every milestone by about 3 months. So, it’s no wonder that she’s hit the “terrible 2’s” about 6 months early. My daughter has now started whining about everything and anything that she wants. And if she doesn’t get it, it’s full on crying, stomping, throwing and even biting.

Sometimes it’s hilarious. Like when she slams her cup down on her high chair tray. It takes all my self-control to not laugh and to just redirect her. But other times, it just wears me down…especially if it’s hours and hours of whining, fussiness and stomping.

I have to admit the biting is a bit funny too.

Today I found myself at wits end…truly exhausted and by the end of the day, I got a little loud.

Then I felt so guilty and was emotionally beating myself up. I never, ever want to feel that way again. Nor do I believe that yelling at my daughter is going to get either of us anywhere. She won’t learn a thing other than to yell and I’ll just feel like a crappy mother.

But what to do? Here’s what I figured out. It seems like Trinity gets the whiniest if I’m trying to do other things, like housework, other than give her attention. I found other moms who had great advice on this one.

In looking at some of the blogs out there, I found some awesome tips.

Life with Toddlers was great in pointing out to identify what causes the “breaking point” – that point where you cross over from heating up to full boil. In my experience, it comes down to where my attention is. I have a lot of responsibilities. I take care of everything in my household other than our dog and the garbage.

Plus, I’m a work-at-home mom with several businesses. It all comes down to when someone is pulling my attention way from my daughter – like too many phone calls are my husband coming in to talk business or finances when my daughter is whining and vying for my attention. It’s in that moment that I lose my cool – I’m trying to have a “serious” conversation where I have to use my brain and I have this little one pulling on me, crying or whining.

My solution? Don’t answer the phone and I’ve instructed my husband to only talk business or finance when it’s my official business hours (during naptime and after Trinity goes to bed).

Oh…I feel so much better already!

I also found a solution for housework. I make it a game. As Trinity puts things away, I to a “happy dance”…she laughs so hard and then puts more things away to see me dance some more. What an awesome solution! She really loves to help so if I’m doing some dusting or cleaning up, I give her a clean rag too and she goes off and wipes up stuff too (my little helper!)

I also eased up on myself a bit. I am a great mom. I’m home with my daughter and I give her so much love and attention that I have to just let it go and forgive myself if once in a while I lose my cool and get a little loud. I’m planning to do everything to avoid it but I’ll remember that 99.9% of the time, I’m amazing :)

Check out this list of tips from Parents magazine too. It’s very helpful.

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