An emotional mum has shared the ‘a-ha moment’ she had about her toddler’s behaviour and it’s striking a chord with other parents – and reducing her son’s tantrums.
Writing on Reddit’s parenting forum she says her son is about to turn two and he’s a busy little boy.
“He has been VERY active ever since he started walking,” she explains. “Climbing, running, jumping, pulling up on anything and everything he can find. He has also been having tantrums since about the same time – like BIG tantrums.”
The mum says she’d been finding her active toddler quite “difficult” to cope with until she had a big realisation.
“Literally all he wants to do is … HELP ME,” she continues.
“It used to be SUCH a struggle to get him to do ANYTHING (‘get out of the fridge’, ‘stop going in the bathroom and turning on the sink’)”
Getting toddlers involved
This probably sounds familiar to lots of toddler parents. But it dawned on this mum that there was something very positive at the root of this daily drama. She changed her approach a little in response.
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“The past few weeks I have been letting him help do things like ‘ok, you shut the fridge’, ‘Ok, you turn the sink off’ instead of just telling him no and physically removing him.”
This mindset shift has brought her much closer to her son and reduced the battles they’d been having dramatically.
“I don’t know how i didn’t realise it sooner but it has helped SO much. It has decreased his tantrums by like 75 percent if not more and we are both so much happier!!!”
“Literally can’t believe it took me so long to figure out that he wasn’t just being defiant, all he wanted was to be involved in things instead of being told what to do,” she writes.
“Hopefully this can help some of you who are struggling with the ‘terrible twos’!”
Other parents chimed in to support this theory, and they shared some of the tasks they ask their toddler to do.
“I could have written this about my daughter!!” someone commented. “She’s only 15 months but I figured out that if I include her in whatever task I’m doing she is totally happy and smiley!!”
“My 2 year old is the same way,” another Reddit user wrote. “She’s so happy and cooperative when I let her help me with tasks. She helps me put away the groceries, cook, do laundry, sweep. She loves it.”
“I now pack every fifth or sixth bag super light so she can help me carry stuff in from the store,” one mum posted. “She also says ‘so strong’ or ‘so heavy’. She also loves washing dishes and helping me load the dishwasher. Sweeping, folding, etc. some mornings it’s just us doing chores together. It goes a lot slower than if I did it alone, but it’s much lower in frustration.”
Some mums and dads noted that when frustration is high with their toddler, it often means they are ready for some new challenges – and ready to stop being treated like a baby.
Maybe it’s time for your toddler to level-up?!