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Gracie’s Top 5 Everyday Parenting Tips

Behavior

Written By Gracie Revland
May 25, 2021

Parenting can feel overwhelming. It can feel as if there are so many “do’s” and “don’ts”.

That’s why I love these tips. They are simple, logical and will make a huge difference in your toddler’s behavior- and in turn, a happier household.

mom and dad playing with kids

As my husband said, “these just make so much sense.” And he’s right. Do I follow them perfectly, always? Of course not. But the logic is something I think all parents can understand and therefore are more likely to use them in the everyday toddler grind!

mom playing with baby

Random side note** If and how you give a consequence is completely up to you and your parenting style. However, all parenting styles have one huge aspect in common. We are all raising tiny human beings. So before giving a consequence it’s only humane to make sure you are being fair to your toddler.

Why is my child acting ridiculous? Why can’t we eliminate this behavior? Why isn’t it working?

Try these:

Practice what you preach

How many times does your child hear the word “please”? As parents, we tend to TELL them to “clean up their toys” instead of using that magic word to “please clean up those toys.” And then we expect our children to use please or thank you! Children learn to mimic the behavior of their parents. The more times you say it; the more that exposure will lead them to say it. And an added bonus, you’ll become an even more polite person in the process (haha)! So the easiest way to help your child with their manners? Model it every day!

You can’t “discipline” when their basic needs aren’t met

When you have an overtired or hungry toddler; it is not the time to try and “correct” their behavior or teach a lesson. When your toddler skipped their nap and is throwing a tantrum at night, their “bad behavior” is a direct result of their basic needs of sleep. When you’re at a restaurant and the food is taking too long, remember the root of the cause of any bad behavior and stay calm. Trying to discipline the action in this moment is not helpful for anyone.

Think about how grumpy you are as an adult when you are running on no sleep. You are way more irritable and susceptive to losing it. It is magnified with your emotional little your toddler!

What is the “WHY”

More often then not, there is a why behind an action. Especially if you are starting to notice that your toddler is “misbehaving” at certain times; look for patterns and it might help you address the why.

My daughter started to act up every time we would have company over. I would get so frustrated and even a little embarrassed. I truly didn’t understand it…and then it hit me. I took a step back and realized that I give her less attention when friends or family are around.

So in a moment when everyone is calm, I explained that she could ask for attention by saying, “I want attention, mommy,” instead of throwing fits. Sure enough, she stopped having fits, and now straight-up asks for attention. It might seem sort of silly to have your toddler ask for attention, but how awesome is it that they can start to understand the underlying cause of these tough emotions instead of just throwing fits? Understanding the why of the behavior is the first step in fixing it.

You can’t give a consequence for an action you’ve never addressed

Sometimes we expect our toddlers to just know the rules. But take a step back, have you explained the rules?

When my daughter first scribbled all over the kitchen table, I was, of course, furious. But I realized, I had never told her the rules with crayons; so it became a learning experience because it wouldn’t be fair for me to be angry at her or give a “consequence.” However, more recently, my toddler used her markers to color all over a toy. And this time, I took her markers away, because I’ve told her the rules with markers. I explained it was because she broke the rules and no longer got to use markers.

Explain the situation when anger or tantrum has passed

We’ll break this down by addressing anger- not your toddlers. This took a lot of trial and error for me, unfortunately. But the biggest parenting mistakes I make are when I’m angry and respond in that moment. Just like how your toddler can’t think straight when they are mid-fit, you can’t think straight when you are either.

The best thing you can do is walk away.

And for your toddlers’ tantrum, same thing, wait until they’ve calmed down. It’s impossible to use a tantrum as a teachable moment when they are mid-meltdown. Children are continually learning and adapting. I know it can be scary to remind a now calm toddler of what they just did, but once a child is relaxed, if you can’t talk about it and explain what they could do instead, they have no way of learning what to do.

happy family of four

And a bonus tip, because top-5 is a much catchier title than top-6. I also have in depth post on this here. Whenever possible, try to provide a “power of choice.” Toddlers are one small ball of emotions, trying to navigate this world with HUGE feelings. The difference between saying “put your shoes on” and “do you want to put on the boots or the sneakers?” is vast.

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Gracie Revland

Hi! I’m Gracie Revland •

One of the two mamas who created Supporting Chaos. It's hard to put into words how excited we are to grow this community of support! So all I can say is thank you so much for being here...