Decoding Toddler Behavior

Cliche as it may sound but my son, Cyler is growing up so fast! So fast that sometimes I can’t catch up anymore. Everyday he learned and discovered new things on his own and he’s getting more curious about things. He wanted to do things on his own at take note marunong ng magdabog pag pinag sasabihan namin pero nakukuha naman sa maayos na usapan, which is good. We’ll I guess that’s all part of growing up, right? They say toddler is one of the most critical stage aside from the teenage stage because this is the stage when your kids develop their character and values. Eto yung stage na naco-confuse pa sila sa emotions nila and they still don’t know how to deal with it. Kaya eto din ang most critical part for parents because it needs a lot of courage,dedication, and patience in order for you to survive. And it’s true, hindi talaga biro ang maging magulang. You will never realize the joy and hardship of being a parent until you become a parent itself.

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So now these are the current behaviour that I usually encounter with my toddler and some helpful tips on how to deal with it. I’m no expert in parenting but I just wanted to share some of the things that I learned from the past 2 years of being a mom.

1. Frustrations

It occurs when the kids can’t do what they wanted to do. I remember one time sobrang na-frustrate si Cyler sa ginagawa nya and I didn’t know the reason why, he couldn’t cry out loud pero tumutulo ung luha nya and I can see in his eyes kung gano sya ka-frustrated. He wanted to tell something but he couldn’t say it and then when I approached him, ayun biglang nagwala to the highest level! That’s the only time na nakita namin syang ma-frustrate ng ganun and I didn’t know what to do. I was on panic mode too because I’m not used to it.

So I tried to calm him down and gave him a power hug and lots of kisses. Children are very aware of the way we express affection through the touch of our hand or a hug. At parati kong ginagamitan yan ng magic word ( I love you!) because that’s so powerful. Another technique was I tried to distract him by showing his favorite music (which is the alphabet song) on his iPad. Then finally he’s back to normal. Remember that distraction is a great tool for toddlers and it’s really effective. Pinky swear! Actually, I realized madali lang kalmahin ang mga bagets basta alam mo how to distract them and what makes them happy. In my case, music, books, and sometimes his favorite cartoons ang nagpapa-kalma kay Cyler. So you should know what makes your child happy, that’s our number 1 distraction weapon. And remember that even just the simple act of a reassuring hug can say “I love you” and help stop negative behavior.

2. Tantrums

Bear in mind that prevention is always better than cure. You should know what trigger your child’s tantrums. And before it happened dapat you know how to prevent it. Like in my case, Cyler only throw tantrums once he hear the word “No” and when he feels like you are shouting to him. Children hates these two letters “NO”, super! Cyler hate people who used to talk so loud kasi feeling niya pinapagalitan siya.

So Instead of saying “No” we tried to explain to him why he’s not allowed to do those things, in fairness naman nakikinig naman ang bagets kahit naglulumpasay na sya sa sahig. Like for example, he wants to play those things na hindi naman talaga toy, instead of saying “no, don’t play that” I used to say “That’s not a toy, you should not play that” and he follows right after naman. You just have to be consistent on what you are saying para makinig sila. Children respond better to simple, consistent directions versus lots of words. So keep it simple and avoid using the word “NO”, keep your voice calm and level as much as possible. And also one of the best thing to do is to let them cry to their heart’s content kasi eventually titigil din yan pag napagod kaka-iyak. This technique really works on Cyler too. Samin kasi ni Cj ako ung mas matigas when it comes to disciplining Cyler, si Cj ung always on panic mode lalapitan nya agad si Cyler. Ako I let him cry until he calm down bago ko lapitan tsaka ko iha-hug, mas effective yun for me. Bear in mind that if a child does not get attention behavior they will eventually stop doing it. And please avoid spanking! If you don’t want your child to hit others, don’t hit your child either. Bear in mind that kids best emulate what you do more than what you tell them.

3. Sharing

Cyler is very possesive and egocentric at this age. He really hates sharing kaya minsan naiisip namin gumawa na ng baby #2 para matuto syang mag-share but then again I realized that’s not the case. Kailangan mag focus muna kami sa needs ni Cyler before anything else. I’ve heard before that toddler’s learn the art of sharing kapag at ease na sila sa kasama nilang kids or grown ups. Remember my post about Cyler’s 1st day at Kindermusik? I mentioned there that Cyler didn’t want to share at all and then on his next session he learned how to share na din and that’s because he felt at ease with the group already.

Another scenario is that when we went out of town together with our friends last weekend, kasama namin yung baby ng friend ko. I let Ginji (my friend’s baby) and Cyler played then. Nung 1st day namin magkakasama ayaw niya i-share ung ball with Ginji then I realized ngayon nga lang pala nagkasama uli ung dalawa so that explain the reason why he doesn’t want to share the ball with Ginji. Hindi na namin pinilit mag-share kasi mauuwi lang yun sa iyakan for sure. Then on the next day, naglalaro na silang dalawa yun nga lang since super baby pa si Ginji hindi nya masabayan ang energy ni Cyler, so in short hindi sila makapag laro although he was sharing the ball to Ginji already. Nakipag laro din sya with the grown ups and he shared the ball too. Teaching your kids the values of sharing may takes a lot of time most especially pag only child pero eventually matutunan din nila yan. Just keep encouraging them until they get the hang of it. Remember hindi yan matutunan ng bata ng overnight lang, it takes time.

4. Independence/Curiousity

Toddlers want to do things by themselves and they want to discover and explore things on their own. In my case, Cyler is so curious at this stage gusto niya hawakan at laruan lahat ng bagay na nakikita nya. So what I usually do is I let him play kahit madumihan pa sya pero I make sure that I wash his hands right after playing. Another important thing to remember is to childproof your home and remove objects your toddler isn’t allowed to play with, this technique will prevent any harmful accident. In our house since we have stairs my Father-in-law made an improvise gate to prevent Cyler from playing at the stairs. In our room naman we covered the floor with puzzle mats to prevent Cyler from bumping his head and since medyo mataas ung bed namin nilagyan namin ng pillow ung gilid ng bed para hindi sya tumama sa matigas na part ng bed at para din malambot ung babagsakan nya if ever bigla siyang mahulog. You know kids are very playful and handful so sometimes kahit super childproof na ung house hindi pa rin maiwasan ung magkaron ng boo boo’s but atleast hindi ganun ka-grabe.

Now when it comes to playing outside the house, I let him play kasi makakita lang ng halaman or buhangin yun si Cyler naku hindi na nya yun lulubayan but I let him explore kasi I know dun siya natututo. Don’t shelter your child from harmless exploration – even if it is time consuming or messy. But of course while their playing kailangan naka-bantay kapa rin to prevent any accident. It’s important to foster your child growth and give them the opportunity to explore because that’s how they learn. And did you know that you are actually showing your kids that they are trust-worthy by allowing them to explore and play on their own? Yes, that’s true! By giving them freedom to explore you are giving your child a chance to become a curious yet responsible person too.

So far those are the 4 common behaviour that I’m currently dealing with my toddler. Parenting is a hit and miss process and I know as time goes by, dadami pa yan at dadami pa din ang matutunan namin mag-asawa as a parent. To all the parents out there it’s important to find time for yourself so you have the energy to give the proper attention and discipline. Have some “me-time”, go out with your friends, and relax we all need that! After all it won’t make you a bad parent if you go out once in a while diba? Sometimes parenting can be exhausting kaya we all deserve to relax. And also bear in mind that each child is unique and different, your strategies may need to change for each child or as your child grows through different phases. Always find what works specifically for you and your child. Remember that disciplining your kids is a case to case basis but I do hope that these tips I mentioned above will help you too. Remember we’re not a super mom or super dad so its ok to ask for and accept help in caring our kids.

How about you? What are the typical behaviour characteristics of your child? And how do you deal with it? Share your parenting tips would love to hear from you! πŸ™‚

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