Are You a Victim of the Toddler Years?

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Warning Signs Your Toddler’s Habits Have Invaded

Parents say the worst years for raising a child is the terrible two’s.  However, these parents failed to mention the terrifying threes and the fearsome fours.  That’s right, the fun tantrums and behavioral issues don’t stop at age two.  For many parents who have survived this long, scary habits have begun to form in the subconscious.  It is these habits that are the warning signs the parent has become a victim of the toddler years.

1. The fear of waking someone from a nap.

toddlerandmomAll parents have been there.  That moment when one must wake a child from slumber before he/she is ready.  The brain has had a few years of training now to know that this is never good.  Everything that a parent does in the first twenty or so minutes after waking the child is utterly wrong.  This is demonstrated by mountains of tears and screams.  This event has become a personal rule for never waking one before they are ready.  Now it comes time to wake an adult early and one find themselves quivering with dread and forcing a chipper attitude.  Not only is there a fake happiness, but the adult has now adapted the strategy of using snacks to distract the rude awakening.  If this is happening then you have become a victim of the toddler years.

2. Shying away from unfamiliar foods

Toddlers hate unfamiliar foods.  If the food is an odd color, smells different, touches something else on the plate, or is healthy the toddler will refuse to eat.  Depending on the toddler there may be many outbursts involving the food on their plates.  If in public, these outbursts can be downright embarrassing.  So any food being served at home or in a restaurant has been pre-approved through trial and error.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac and cheese, and applesauce have all become staples in the menu planning.  If this routine in food choices has become comfortable and appetizing then it is a sign you have become a victim of the toddler years.

3. Helping the Independent  

boyandgirlThere comes an age when a toddler breaks out into the independent years.  It is during these years that a battle ensues between parent and child on menial tasks.  The toddler no longer needs a parent to climb into the vehicle, assist with brushing their teeth, or help with clothes.  This is a power struggle as the little one is becoming independent before they are ready and a parent doesn’t want to let go just yet.  Soon the parent is assisting others with small tasks without noticing and without permission.  A good example is cutting up another adult’s meat, helping someone get buckled in the car, or reaching out to clean a dirt mark on another’s face.  If this is happening then you have been victimized by the toddler years.

4. Routine, Routine, Routine.

When it comes to raising toddlers the world boils down to routine.  There must be a structure for the child to follow.  A certain time to awaken in the morning, a certain path to drive places, a particular place to eat meals, etc…  If this routine is broken then all hell breaks loose.  The obsessive need to keep things the same and on task is engraved into the toddler.  Soon without noticing it becomes engraved on the parent.  If one begins to freak out because they are not eating at the designated table or feels that running five minutes late is equivalent to missing the whole event then you have become victim of the toddler years.

5. Spills equal more dirty laundry.  

dirtylaundryEvery parent knows that when it comes to a spill on a toddlers clothes, it’s changing time.  It doesn’t have to be large, but just the tiniest drop of liquid or crumbs and the toddler wants new clothes immediately.  Soon a parent is going through more outfits in a day then with a baby.  It’s frustrating, but when this same parent finds themselves changing every time their child gets something on their clothes, it’s off.  This is a sure sign that they have become victim of the toddler years.

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