Reading is and always has been a passion of mine. So when I became a mom, I was anxious to get my hands on all kinds of reading materials that would help me be the best parent I could be. As my daughter has grown, so has my reading list. I firmly believe that kids who see their parents reading will be more likely to read, so I take every opportunity to read texts from a variety of sources. While I still have quite the stack of parenting books, I also turn to the resources on the internet more often than not. Boys Town is full of fantastic parenting resources offering helpful tips and advice for this crazy journey of parenting.
Dealing with the Terrible Twos
My daughter turned 2 over the summer, and we have definitely been dealing with shades of the terrible twos. There are days with full blown tantrums, endless arguments and lots of sass. These days are also full of huge belly laughs, hugs and kisses and endless smiles. I sometimes feel like I need 8 arms to put out the fires left and right. Just when we seemed to get hitting under control, the gimme-gimmes picked up. I refuse to be overwhelmed by it, so I have been trying lots of resources to help us with each battle we face. Reading can solve everything, right? It can be difficult to deal with massive toddler mood swings, so I was grateful when I got the opportunity to work with Boys Town to learn some great strategies for dealing with toddler tantrums.
For 100 years, Boys Town has been offering love, support and education, not just to at-risk children, but also to families all over. They are a non-profit charity that believes that every child deserves a future, and they offer research backed tips and advice to help parents online, in homes and in schools. As a teacher and a mom, I love that they offer actionable advice for parents, curated from a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and parenting experts.
Since tantrums are my biggest parenting struggle right now, I decided to give their Toddler Tantrums email series a try. I was pleased that the introduction to the series recognized that tantrums are inevitable. We can’t completely avoid toddler tantrums, because they are just trying to work out all of these big emotions, and they don’t yet know how. Each issue contains a teaching activity (which speaks right to my teacher heart), and social skills to teach to your kids.
My big takeaway from the first email was about how children’s brains work, and how we need to alter how we talk to them to foster understanding. This was a big eye opener for me, because my daughter looks and speaks at a level much older than her age, so it is easy for me to forget sometimes that she is only 2. Even though I had studied child development in school, how easily I had forgotten this in day to day life! (Isn’t that always how it works with the things you learn in school?)
Once I started putting the tips into practice, it completely changed my perspective on how I talked to my daughter. I try to remember to speak in smaller pieces, with direct and simple language. She may talk like a little adult, but her brain isn’t prepared to fully understand long conversations.
When she ran off during a visit to the zoo, I called her back to me. Normally, this would result in a meltdown on her behalf because she wanted to do whatever she wanted. Instead, I used short and simple language to tell her why we needed to go the other way, and she came right over. (After I thanked her for listening and told her it made me happy, she responded “My pleasure Mommy”. When I picked my jaw up off the floor and asked her where she learned that, she named her new favorite British cartoon. That’s what happens when you let your toddler watch British TV!).
I have been so pleased with my experience with the email series. She wasn’t feeling well this week, so we had a tough time with tantrums. However, my new perspective on handling her tantrums definitely helped me to keep a level head and deal with them as they were happening.
Experience Your Own Parenting Win
Boys Town offers tons of quality resources for parents who are dealing with the issues that come with parenthood. Each weekly email includes an easy teaching activity as well as social skills that you can teach your kids. The email series topics include:
- Potty Training
- Toddler Tantrums
- Teen Discipline
- Success in School
- Tween Discipline
- Sleep Issues
- Kids and Technology
Parenting is hard. Kids don’t come with a manual. Luckily there are amazing resources out there to help us as we navigate this journey. Check out the tips, tools and advice available at Boys Town to help you address your parenting questions!