18 months old and all the emotions

If you follow my Instagram account, you will know that the last few weeks have been challenging to say the least! Since turning 18 months, Archie has been incredibly emotional and is crying way more than before. Out of frustration, anger, separation anxiety and probably lots of other reasons that I’ll never know. Speaking to lots of my mummy friends, it seems to be very common at this age so I thought I’d share some tips I’ve learnt along the way for dealing with an emotional toddler.

emotional toddler

  1. Be understanding – it’s important to remember that most of a toddler’s frustration stems from two things:
    – Their inability to clearly communicate what they want/ what’s annoying them
    – The fact that they don’t understand (what you’re telling them and why)
    So as much as dealing with an emotional toddler will really test your patience, try to be as understanding as you can and communicate with them, rather than just getting annoyed.
  2. Offer comfort – I know some people feel you should ignore the tears and wait for your toddler to calm down before approaching them. And if they’re physically lashing out then I think this is totally understandable. But if not, a hug and some gentle words might be all they need to feel a bit better.
  3. Give explanations – Rather than just tell your toddler off or say no, try to explain why you are doing so. It won’t be an instant fix but eventually they might understand why and it will help build a connection between cause and effect.
  4. Provide a distraction – This is probably our most effective method with Archie – finding a different toy to play with, making up silly games with a toy, singing songs etc. – is a good way of distracting them from the original problem.
  5. Routine – If you have a good routine then your toddler will know what to expect and this should help to alleviate some of the problems. I also find if Archie is well napped/ slept (and fed!) then his mood is considerably better than if he hasn’t.
  6. Give them a little bit of independence – A lot of a toddler’s frustration is because of a lack of control in so many situations e.g. when they eat, what they eat, where you go etc. So allowing them a bit of independence in the right circumstances can help them to feel a bit more in control. For example, Archie enjoys helping me around the house so I always try and involve him where I can by asking if he’d like to help me, such as folding the laundry away, putting his shoes away, getting the changing mat out. It’s obviously his choice whether he wants to help me or not but most of the time I find he wants to and he enjoys the praise I give him afterwards.
  7. Get fresh air – Where possible, it’s good for both you and your toddler to get out into the fresh air at least once a day. Usually I like Archie to have at least a good hour or so in the garden to give him a good run around and I find it massively helps his mood.
  8. Be kind to yourself – This one is so important because dealing with an emotional toddler can be really hard. Take help where you can so you can have a break. It will give you time to reset, gain some perspective and you’ll probably be much more patient and understanding afterwards.

 

 

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A letter to Archie: 18 months

Dear Archie,

I can’t quite believe we’re 6 months past your first birthday – time just seems to be flying!

Archie 18 months

We’ve not long moved house and it is fair to say you are loving your new surroundings, particularly the garden which you would play in every minute of the day if you could 🙂

We also found out recently that later this year you’re going to be a big brother! I’m so excited for you to have a sister to share your childhood with, like I did. And I know you’re going to be the best big brother because you already have such a lovely, kind and caring nature.

You’re still a bit wild (!) but we wouldn’t change that for the world. People often comment how confident and full of life you are – noting how you never sit still and that you’d rather run than walk! Your playful side comes out most with the people you know well (but you’re not shy of those you don’t) and you love being tickled/ chased.

You are such a sociable character and will soon be going to a local nursery for a couple of mornings a week and I think you’re going to love making new friends and exploring a new place.

Despite being Mr Independent, your affectionate side is coming out more by the day –you’ve started offering us cuddles and are visibly excited when you see Daddy walk through the door.

Looks-wise you are definitely a proper little boy now and have lost many of your baby features. You are still very much Daddy’s mini-me except you’re actually quite tall for your age (something I’m pretty sure you don’t get from Daddy!).

You’ve become much fussier with food since your first birthday and definitely know what you want (and don’t want!). But if there’s a snack or something sweet around, you can guarantee you’ll be the first to notice and get in there!

Your understanding has come on enormously in the last month or so and I love being able to interact with you more. You like helping me with jobs around the house and you’re constantly babbling, even if most of the time I’m not sure what you’re saying.

Aside from the obvious first words (mumma, dada etc.) you have a few favourites – birdie, ball, car, cake– which definitely relate to the things you like most.

You love being sung to and you love music in general – we often sit and watch Disney songs together on the iPad. You also sing/ babble away to yourself in your cot to get yourself to sleep and I love listening to it on the monitor.

I know we’re incredibly biased but Mummy and Daddy are just so unbelievably proud of you. We constantly say “What did we do to deserve you?” and we really don’t know but we thank our lucky stars every single day.

Love you to the moon and back,

Mummy xxx