Can moms actually create cranky toddlers? I did…and I want to share with you exactly how I created a cranky toddler so you can avoid my mistakes!
What happened to your baby? He was so angelic, quiet and kind. But one day something happened — something that you had never planned.
Your baby transformed into a cranky, demanding, highly emotional and discontent toddler. Is there something you did to create this?
I know it stings when someone points out something you may be missing the mark on when it comes to this motherhood thing.
I have been stung a few times, but you know what? I needed it. Yes, it hurt and may have even caused a few hot tears to stream down my cheeks.
Sure, I may have ran to my bed and wanted to disappear because I felt like a complete failure — but.
Was what that person saying true?
Was my child’s negative behavior actually my fault?
Was I actually creating a cranky toddler in the midst of my journey of motherhood?
Going through the baby and toddler stage with each of my children, I can honestly say that there was a distinct change when my child reached the age of 13-15 months old.
But, many times it was my mothering style that created and then fueled negative behavior that was evident in my toddler.
I could have tried to point to other sources or even cry, “He’s a strong-willed child!” but that wouldn’t have helped the situation.
Instead, I chose to listen to the teachers in my life.
My husband, older moms and even books helped me see where I was failing.
Let me tell you a secret. It is possible to have a content, happy and obedient toddler.
And we tell you EXACTLY how to create a happy toddler right here. We wanted you to know that dreams can come true in toddler land. ;0)
Creating a happy toddler takes work, honesty on your part, prayers and an open heart that says, “If I need to change my mothering style, I will.”
Check out this list and see if any of these negative mothering techniques are similar to yours — but wait!
Only read with an open, honest heart and mind. Most likely no one is watching you read this, so you don’t have delve into self-defense mode.
And, there is a 90% chance I have never met you and have never seen your toddler.
So, no, I am not judging you, I am only desiring to help you through your child’s toddler years.
So please — sit and think, “Am I doing this? Is it causing negative behavior in my toddler?”
Gulp. Here we go.
5 Ways Moms Create Cranky Toddlers
- They reward whining. It’s so easy to hand over that piece of candy your child whines for!
No one likes to hear a child whine or cry — it has to be one of the worst sounds in the universe!
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you give a toddler what he whines for, he’ll be quiet and smile — for a little while, at least.
However, when you give your toddler everything he whines for, you are teaching him it is acceptable to whine. You are also teaching him it is good to whine, because you are rewarding him for his whining.
He wants a cookie — he whines.
He wants to get out of his car-seat — he whines.
He wants to walk instead of sit in the grocery cart — he whines. What do you do?
You give him the cookie, take him out of the car-seat and let him walk instead of ride in the shopping cart.
Though none of those desires are bad, he is learning that he can control his mom. He can make you do whatever he wants you to do; all he has to do is whine.
This creates a bigger and scarier monster.
It creates a cranky toddler that is constantly whining — I mean constantly!
The first moment he doesn’t get his desires, he initiates the no-fail tactic — whining. < em>Mom, don’t give into this attitude!
It will only hurt your child now and in the future. Trust me. I have seen whiny kids turn into whiny adults, and it is not a pretty picture.
- They never establish a routine for their toddler. Kids are resilient, right? Well, maybe not as much as people think.
If your toddler lacks structure throughout the day, his or her day is filled to the brim with uncertainties. Some of these may include:
Will he take a nap?
Will he have outside play time?
Will he eat dinner before he takes a bath or after?
Will he have a story before bed or just a kiss and hug?
You see, there is no certainty in his life, so he always feels “out of the loop.”
Consider your own life.
Do you feel like you have it altogether if you follow a morning routine before heading out to work?
Do you have a better start to your day if you follow a coffee first, then breakfast, then shower routine?
Do you feel out-of-whack if you shower first then have coffee? Just like adults, toddlers thrive and feel more in control of their lives if there is some sort of schedule and predictability to the day.
Yes, things may need to be rearranged for an unforeseen sickness or event, but following a typical, daily schedule has many more benefits than moms realize. If you need tips, sample schedules or printable to get you started on the right routine for your family, check out this awesome ebook from two of my blogging friends.
I’ve read it and absolutely love it!
Great for any mom who desires to set a routine for her family.
- They spend very little quality time with their toddler. We know parents living in this day and age are extremely busy. Schedules are always getting crunched and people are constantly trying to save more time.
However, your child needs you to spend quality time and quantity time with him every single day.
Take time to get on his eye level and ask him about the events of the day.
Wrap your arms around him and give loads of affection throughout the day.
Ask the tiny tots about special times during the day like, “Did you play with your trucks today? Did you see a puppy today? Did you eat a sandwich today?”
It’s amazing how much a toddler can understand and communicate with you if you just take the time to listen and connect.
- They rush through daily child-care tasks. Do you zoom through feeding your little one breakfast? Do you rush him to his room and dress him as quickly as possible?
Buzzing through daily activities can send the signal of, “I’m not enjoying this task of raising you” to your child without you even noticing.
Sure, you are exhausted and there are so many things waiting to be done, but take a few extra minutes to talk to your toddler as you take care of him.
Point out the shiny buttons, talk about his or her blonde curls and tell him or her about the happenings of the day.
This one-on-one conversation with a no-rush attitude helps you and your toddler connect in the necessary duties of a parent.
- They are not consistent with discipline. If you set rules in your home, make sure there is a penalty when they are broken.
If a toddler hits or screams, make sure you deal with it every single time. When you don’t take time and consistently address your toddler’s negative behavior, you are creating a toddler that only keeps the rules when someone is looking.
How many times have you let your toddler get away with negative behavior because you were busy cooking, texting, talking or even on the internet?
Turn off the stove and deal with your toddler.
Put down the phone and deal with your toddler.
Letting your child’s negative behavior continue will only harm him.
Care enough for his well-being to make addressing negative behavior a priority!
Mothering a toddler is not an easy task, but having someone honestly say, “Hey, you are teaching your kid to whine” really does help — once the sting is gone.
If you are struggling with a cranky, less-than-happy toddler, why not try addressing these issues and see if they create a positive change in your toddler’s attitude?
I’m not writing this with a “You’re a horrible mom!” attitude.
I am writing this with a “I have been there and done that” attitude.
You do have a listening ear here, but you will also get honest answers with a desire to truly help you and your toddler become a happier pair!
If you would love some more honest, mom-to-mom tips on how to create a happier home for your family, check out my ebook that gives you 25 daily challenges and many been there and done that moments.
Parents can draw strength and wisdom from other moms and dads who have faced parenting a toddler.
Most of the time a little bit more affection as well as training can help a toddler become more pleasant and well-mannered.
Do you have any success stories to share about how your cranky toddler turned into a pleasant one? We would love to hear them on our Facebook page!
*Affiliate links have been added to help your parenting journey!*