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8 Ways to Keep Your Cool When Dealing With a Wild and Crazy Toddler

May 30 2014 - 6:44am

Tina Fey [1] may have said it best when she titled a chapter of her memoir "There's a Drunk Midget in My House," because as anyone who's been there knows, that's exactly what life with a toddler feels like. A big ole bundle of love one minute and a raging tyrant the next, the emotions of your 1- to 3-year-old are a force to be reckoned with.

Try as they may to unravel their usually calm, cool, and collected parents, we simply refuse to let it happen! Much of the key to coping with our tots' antics lies in trying to understand the toddler mind-set [2]. Here, eight tips for dealing with your wild and crazy little kiddos without losing your cool.

Source: Flickr user Eric Peacock [3]

Listen When They Talk

Figuring out how to communicate isn't easy, and the only way they'll learn and improve is through your encouragement. While it's important to teach them not to interrupt a conversation or phone call, it's also important to let them know that someone's listening and interested in what they have to say.

Source: Flickr user Royce Blair [4]

Don't Underestimate the Importance of Downtime

With their little minds and bodies moving a mile a minute, even a good night's sleep probably isn't enough. Continue to push nap time for as long as they need it. If they simply won't fall asleep, at the very least enforce quiet time. Dim the lights, read a book, or let them just relax in the crib or bed.

Source: Flickr user Qihuii Hanabi [5]

Slow Down the Schedule

You may have had a busy day of errands and outings planned, but if your tot is content with his train or stacking toys, let him do his thing. It doesn't always take a guided class or sing-along for a toddler to learn important fine and gross motor skills.

Source: Flickr user K.B. Owen [6]

While You May Be on a Tight Schedule, They're Not

The idea of operating without the confines of time is one that's all but impossible for adults to grasp, but for your toddler, it's reality. Little kids don't understand the concept of time [7], so keep in mind that all of your warnings of "Five more minutes!" are all but pointless to these little guys.

Source: Flickr user Eric Peacock [8]

Try to See Things From Their Perspective

How would you like it if you were in the middle of doing something you deemed important and someone scooped you up and strapped you into a car seat? It's not that you should cave into their every whim, but try to be respectful of your tot's point of view — no matter how wacky and wild it may seem.

Source: Flickr user Hogan [9]

Remember You Are, in Fact, the Boss

It may not always (or ever) feel like it, but you run the show! In your little kiddos' eyes, you hold all the answers, so don't let them down by breaking down.

Source: Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones [10]

Put Them to Work

If your toddler loses his cool (and his mind) every time you try to make dinner or fold laundry, include him in the process. Give him a reasonable kitchen task (it's never too soon to master those whisking skills) or a stack of socks to match up, then be sure to provide your little helper with plenty of praise.

Source: Flickr user Rob, Alex, Joyce, & Nova's photostream [11]


Because it's a whole lot more fun than crying. And let's face it: they're hysterical.

Source: Flickr user Eric Peacock [12]

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