When it comes to disciplining toddlers, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there. Do this, not that, do this instead …SHEW! For a first-time parent, it can be beyond overwhelming.
I remember my parents coming over to visit when Harlow was just a couple days old. My mom asked my husband and I, “How do you like being parents?” It was an interesting question because I really hadn’t felt like we had done any “parenting” yet. Lets be honest, the first six months, you are just trying to keep this thing alive! For me, my daughter entering toddlerhood was the start of what felt like “parenting” to me.
When it comes to toddlers acting out, not sharing or even hitting, I do strongly believe that redirecting is best. Showing them something new or giving them a different toy to play with is simple, yet can work wonders at that age. And its easy on mama, too! It’s actually one of the few benefits of them being so easily distracted, ha!
However, as they get older and stronger, and the full on tempter tantrums begin, sometimes redirecting is not enough. Sometimes they need to be physically removed from situations even if it’s just to calm down. More importantly, sometimes mama needs to calm down. Kids are truly the greatest blessing in life. They can also be the reason you lose your freakin mind! They test your sanity and it’s like a whole new world you’ve entered. Completely uncharted territory, at least for me. This is also when you are starting to lay ground work for future disciplinary actions. You are setting a bar so to speak. For example, if you completely lash out at them over something so small, punishments will continue to escalate, potentially to somewhere you will regret. I consider myself to be pretty chill and go with the flow but I will be the first to say, I never knew I had a temper until toddler parenting. I also have spent most of my days over the passed two years with two little ones, only ten months apart in age. To say some days I feel like I have completely lost my mind is the understatement of the year!
With two of them, there is a lot of bickering, fighting, even hitting, kicking and biting sometimes. That being said, a lot of days I do rely on time out just to physically separate them from each other to avoid one seriously hurting the other. Now, some people are not fans of time out for various reasons. Hey, to each their own. But, as these two have gotten older and the more often these situations occur, I have become more and more reliate on time out. Time out for myself.
While I am not a doctor or a child behavior expert of any sort, I am a mom that spends most days with two kids under the age of three. We all need a time out sometimes. And I mean, ALL of us! Whether is it just to regroup, collect thoughts, let out a cry or just to calm down and cool off. Time out is for me, not for them.
I think all toddler parents have at some point gotten beyond frustrated and reacted in a way they have later regretted. I know I have! And after that, cue the guilt! We all have mom guilt for one reason or another. And frankly, I don’t need another reason! If time out helps me be the best mom I can be, then sign me up! Time out is for me, not for them.
As soon as I became a mom, I quickly learned that you cannot judge any other mom out there. We are all just trying to do our best. Sometimes we are just trying to survive! That being said I am a firm believer in doing whatever you need to do to be the best mom you can be. For some people that may mean some a girls night out, away from home. Or maybe letting your little one watch a little extra TV just to get some stuff done! You do you, girl! For me, I need time out because time out is for me, not for them.