Reframing Toddlerhood: It's not all bad, in fact it's pretty amazing
The toddler years are surely one of the most challenging stages in raising or caring for a child, right? From tantrums, to communication frustration, to stubborn independence, to unbridled mischief, hardly a day goes by that you won’t feel tested.
We often call this tricky stage the ‘terrible twos’. (even though it can begin at around 18 months and continue for more than a couple of years), and certainly it can feel like there are some terrible and trying moments for all involved. But while we impatiently wait for little ones to put their own shoes on ("I DO IT") and bemoan the disappearance of the baby who stayed where you left them, your toddler is going through one of the most critical periods of development for the human brain. And it's amazing!
The toddler stage is when we transition from totally dependant and defenceless infants to independent individuals, capable of expressing our own thoughts, feelings and wishes. We acquire language, gain physical autonomy, develop personalities and curiosity about the world, and begin to make friends. No wonder it can all be a bit overwhelming at times. It really should be called the Transformative Twos!
We’re going to break it down, week by week into -
Toddler Development - Understanding the toddler brain and what is going on in there. Why toddlers have tantrums and how to handle them.
Toddler Behaviour - Understanding why toddlers can be impulsive, irrational and defiant. Why healthy boundaries will help your toddler learn and how to set them effectively.
Toddler Communication - Understanding the importance of talking, listening and social interaction. How to support your child through moments of communication frustration.
Toddler Play - Understanding why play is such an essential part of your child’s development. How to support your child’s play and engage with them, without taking over.
So if you have a toddler in your life (or know someone who has) make sure to keep an eye on Playful Pathways this month. There are no shortcuts or magic spells to help you avoid the toddler stage, but understanding more about the whys and hows may just give you a new perspective as well as a little extra patience and compassion during the most challenging moments.
And if all else fails, remember that for better or worse, it doesn’t last forever!