Toddler in the house? Here's how to survive the terrible two's
It probably seems like just yesterday that your new bundle of joy arrived, all cute and cuddly and smelling so gorgeous (or of freshly vomited milk, depending on the time of day).
But now a couple of years have passed on and you’ve got a small person with a mind of their own and opinions on everything. Toddler tantrums start to become a regular occurrence and bargaining and bribing become part of your daily routine. Sometimes you just want to lock yourself in the bathroom with a bottle of wine and a couple of blocks of chocolate and reflect on the pre-baby days when things were so peaceful. Orderly. Quiet.
But the terrible twos won’t last forever and you can get through them. The first thing to remember is that your toddler is basically bonkers – just keep this in mind when your little one is kicking and screaming because you won’t let him or her have jelly and ice cream while the cartoons are on the telly.
Keeping up with a toddler is definitely a tough gig – but for all you sleep-deprived, harassed and over-worked parents out there, we’ve pulled together our top 10 parenting tips and tricks to make life a little easier.
- Potty training – once your toddler has mastered the art of the little potty and is gravitating to the big potty over the loo, try facing them towards the back of the toilet. This will give them more stability and if you give them a white board marker your terrible two can draw to their hearts content while they get down to business with their own number twos. This method is also a great training step for boys since it will get them used to facing towards the toilet (and not aiming up the walls).
- If your toddler is a fussy eater and the only things they’ll eat are chips and chocolate, you can make food time an exciting journey by turning an ice cube tray into a plateful of tasty treats. Put a different food into each cube and use lots of different colours and textures to make it look visually appealing and appetising. Think strawberries, chopped banana, snow peas, nuts, chopped chicken, cheese, cucumber etc.
- It may be winter outside but we all know that toddlers adore ice cream at any time of the year. You can keep the house drip-free by cutting a hole in a small paper plate (or the plastic top from a drink cup) and stick the ice cream cone or popsicle through it.
- Toddlers are usually as tough as nails. If you discover that your little darling has eaten the cat food, it’s not going to hurt them. Take a deep breath, stay calm and put the empty plate in the dishwasher. Same goes for Play-Doh. Nothing you do will ever stop your toddler from eating it. Just go with the flow.
- Put a clamp on the toilet seat or a lock on the toilet door. This is a seriously important step in getting through the toddler years because if your child can throw something into the toilet, they will. Also make sure you have an emergency contact for a local plumber handy for those times when you forget to put a lock on it.
- Harden your heart a little. Embrace the word “no”. Those quivering lips and puppy-dog eyes are the biggest trap known to parenthood. Remember you have a tiny terrorist in the house so no matter how cute or endearing they seem, remember that you’re the adult in the relationship and you’re in charge.
- If you fail at number 6 don’t be afraid to have a bribe handy. But be warned - if you don’t use your bribes very sparingly you can expect daily temper tantrums until you deliver the goods.
- Learn to live with the fact that your nice things, your pretty things, your breakable things aren’t going to be with you for much longer. Relax – it’s all just stuff that can be replaced (or kept under lock and key).
- NEVER keep your expensive skin care and makeup ANYWHERE YOUR TODDLER CAN REACH.
- Do not buy a Lego set unless you are fundamentally a sadistic person. You will find Lego pieces throughout the house for years to come and even the people who buy your house from you in 10 years time will find the odd brick tucked away somewhere from time to time.
If your toddler has you stressed out and wound up, maybe it’s time to take a winter break. If you need a hand to make that happen, we’re here to help - just take a look at our flexible mini-loans to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually get a payment into your bank account within a few hours - so you could be unwinding in your favourite place in next to no time!