Not so fast.
Fast forward eighteen months and I can assume you will be knee deep in tantrums. Brace yourself. The ride is going to get even bumpier.
During this time, you might be hunkering down at home because it’s easier. It can be hard to go out in public when you have an unpredictable toddler. I get it, but there are ways to make it easier.
The Holidays Are in Full Swing
The holiday season is officially here. Shopping to be done, a visit to see Santa…… what’s the worst that could happen?
Did anyone say tantrum?
Our little angel has turned into Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Well, that’s a little harsh, but not far from it. Life as we knew it is not the same. It’s not better or worse, just a little more challenging (no, it’s worse).
All too often, our expectations for our kids are unattainable. We take our kids out and we expect them to act like adults, when in fact they are little beings that are still learning how to communicate. It’s a whole new world out there for them, so don’t expect too much. You are setting yourself up for disappointment because they will act up, throw food and have a meltdown. It’s a given, they’re toddlers.
Don’t be alarmed, because it’s natural. They are toddlers and are learning how to understand their feelings and emotions and what to do with them. It’s a learning process, so be patient (I know…..you want to run the other direction).
Going out in public with a toddler isn’t forbidden, the plan just needs some work. A little extra planning combined with a backup plan, will help for a successful outing with your little one.
5 Simple Ways to Make Public Outings Tolerable for Everyone
Be Prepared with Snacks
Food is key. Especially for babies and toddlers. It seems like they are always eating. Food equates to happiness. You know what happens to yourself when you’re hungry, grumpiness creeps in.
Before you leave the house with your little one, make sure that you have the food prepped. When you pack the food, make sure it’s easily accessible. If not, your little one will be having a melt down while you dig thru the diaper bag trying to find the food.
Who Said Distracting a Kid Doesn’t Work?
The attention span of a little toddler is short, so expect that. No, they don’t have ADHD, they are just being kids. It’s to be expected. Kids brains aren’t fully developed, so to ask them to sit still like the perfect child is laughable. I’m sure you remember what your parents told you about how you acted. So, be thankful they aren’t as bad as you were.
It could always be worse, remember that. The period of time that you go thru this stage is minimal, so take it as it comes, and drink heavily.
If you feel a meltdown coming on, pull out the toys from the diaper bag and distract. Toys can be a huge distraction and can entertain them for a while. Remember, the distraction will only last for a short while.
Encourage Good Behavior at Home
When you are working with your toddler and trying to curb their tantrums, encouragement is an integral part of creating good behavior. Remember, kids aren’t born with this innate way to act appropriately. It has to be taught, which doesn’t happen overnight. Toddlers are a work in process (aren’t we all?)
Each and every time your toddler does something good; praise them for their good behavior. They will associate positive reinforcement with their good behavior. This small feat at home will help tremendously while venturing away from home.
Kids Can Nap Anywhere, Hopefully
A nap can cure a grumpy kid. At least I hope so.
When you decide to take the plunge and go out into the world with your toddler, make sure to bring the stroller, so they can nap. We use this strategy to help give us a break, and it works! After wearing out the kiddos and filling them up with food, they are bound to be in a food coma and need a nap. What this time means is a break for you. A break from the whining and crying. Hopefully, they will wake up fully refreshed and ready to go with a smile on their face. Sleep does a body good.
Start them Young – To Do List
Okay, so it might be a little early to start a “to do” list for them, but kids love responsibility. Kids always do better when they are given a task or direction on what is going to happen.
So, when you venture out into the jungle with your little one, set the agenda. Give them a task to help you with. It may be as simple as holding your to do list or giving them something to be in charge of. Give them something that will make them feel helpful. Little helpers love to help their mama’s and dada’s.
Now that you are fully stocked with simple ways to make life easier while venturing out in public with your toddler , be brave and set a date. Maybe start small and try the mall. If its a complete failure, you can run to your car, pack up your little one and head home. No harm no foul. It will only get easier with practice. So, put on your running shoes and get out the door.
Remember, no one is perfect.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.