Although it may seem like your child is the pickiest eater in America, studies show that many toddlers are picky eaters. There are many healthy foods for picky kids, and studies show that about half of all toddlers will outgrow their picky eating phase by the time they are eight years old. If your toddler won’t eat anything but yellow foods or hamburgers, you can still work with them to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. Dealing with the terrible twos may not be as challenging as you expect, but toddlers are definitely on the move. They want to explore their environment and they don’t want to nap or to be told “no.” Toddlers want to meet their own needs, but may not know how to communicate their hunger or tiredness.
There are many options if you are dealing with toddlers and tantrums every day. Recently, one mother’s lunchtime creations made headlines across the country: she arranges her son’s vegetables into colorful patterns in order to entice him to eat healthy foods. Even if you don’t feel too creative, you can always cut up green peppers and lunch meats and arrange them into a pattern. Kids throw tantrums over food because they are looking for control, experts say. They have to learn so much new information every day that meal time can become overwhelming. If they reject a new food, you may have to present it several times before they are willing to try it; if your picky toddler eaters reject foods like hummus, olives, or onions, rest assured that some people just have a lifelong dislike for certain foods.
While kids often outgrow their food dislikes, they may persist in throwing tantrums in public places. Child care experts recommend removing your child from the store if possible, and maintaining a firm yet reasonable tone. Asking your child to get up from the floor is the first step, and then removing them from the scene of their tantrum is the follow up step if they don’t listen. It can be frustrating, and many parents want to know how to deal with toddler tantrums. Children have their own personalities, and what works for one kid may not work for another. In general, you can make use of a brief time out and put your toddler back into the shopping cart. Once they calm down, you can allow them to walk beside you, with the expectation that if they start screaming again, they will have to go back into the cart.
Dealing with the terrible twos can be trying on your patients and can even make you question your sanity, but you should know that most terrible twos behavior fades away by the time kids starts school. Young toddlers often have high levels of frustration. They want to keep up with older siblings, or they want to make their opinions known, but they lack the vocabulary to connect. Dealing with the terrible twos is not an easy thing to do, but it can help to offer children options whenever possible. They may not be able to ask for another cookie, but they can pick out their clothing and help get themselves dressed every day. Focus on what they are able to do, and their behavior should mellow out: being a toddler is a phase that they will eventually outgrow.
There are as many approaches to child raising as there are parents, but just keep in mind that sooner or later, you’re going to have a teenager to deal with. Experts sometimes say that being a toddler is like practice for the teen years: the word “no” just keeps coming up. Whether it’s your “no” or theirs, dealing with the terrible twos is a part of parenthood that is unavoidable. Toddlers want independence and control over their environment, and parents who can provide choices may stand a better chance of avoiding public meltdowns.