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Overcome
the challenges. Experience
the joy.

The toddler years can be challenging. But they don’t have to be this hard. Here, you’ll find practical, ready-for-action strategies to navigate toddlerhood.

The

truth

about

toddlerhood

(it's not as terrible as you think)

Terrible twos. Threenagers. Adorable dictators. The challenges of this stage have resulted in some colorful characterizations. But in reality, behaviors often labeled “bad” are actually a normal and important part of this critical developmental period.

If we understand this development, we can better navigate (and influence) the behavior that comes with it.

90% of a child's brain develops by age 5.
Their neural connections are being made at a rate of a million per second. No wonder they need naps.
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Toddlers are built to try everything (including your patience).
Toddlers are physiologically driven to explore, experimenting with the world around them and testing boundaries, capabilities, and reactions to their actions.
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They’re developing sense-of-self.
Toddlers become aware that they are individuals. Which means they are separate from their parents. This is where many power struggles are born.
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Emotional health starts here.
Toddlers are experiencing big emotions. It is vitally important that they are taught to create a healthy relationship with their feelings, so they can grow to be resilient.
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So does your relationship.
Parent-child interactions during the toddler years set the foundation for those relationships for years to come.
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Hi,

I'm Devon.

So happy you're here!

I’m a ICF certified coach and the Founder of Transforming Toddlerhood. I’m passionate about empowering toddler parents to transform their frustration, fear and self-doubt into confidence so they can overcome behavioral challenges, experience joy and create a parent-child relationship that lasts a lifetime through connection.

Today, we’re a community of more than 100,000 parents and caregivers from around the world.

Ready to start

the transformation?

No matter where you are in your parenting journey, we have something to support you.

End Power
Struggles

Real-life, ready-for action strategies that you can implement right now to start seeing change—for free!

Toddler Parenting
Starter Kit

The perfect place to begin transforming your parenting and your toddler’s behavior.

Transforming Toddlerhood
Parenting Academy

Everything you need to overcome the challenges of toddlerhood and become the Loving Leader & Guide™ you envision for your child.

We're on Instagram @Transforming Toddlerhood

Follow for daily toddler parenting tips, advice and inspiration.

💫 You CAN do it all, but you don't always HAVE to.💫

I'm here to tell you to FORGET about the laundry, dishes, and to-do list. Take a moment to slow down and create a connection. With yourself, your child, your partner, whatever you need!

You're a parent and caregiver so we already know that you can do it all, that you love your toddler unconditionally, and you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders every day.

But it's OKAY to do things that you want to do and to sometimes put your needs first. Everything else on the to-do list can (and will) wait. 

Tell me one thing you NEED this weekend and tag a friend who needs to see this too! ⤵️

[[If what you need is some extra support on your positive parenting journey, check out all of the resources I have for toddler parents at the link in my bio!]]
 
Credit: @mombrain.therapist ❤️
Raise your hand if you could some extra support when it comes to sibling conflict🙋

Most parents do! So here's something to think about⤵️
If we come in as the judge and jury then kids don't →learn← the skills they need to navigate conflict and it will put the responsibility on you to always solve the problem for them.

When we practice being the coach that →teaches← skills for navigating conflict instead of being the referee that →fixes← problems, we are setting our toddlers to become problem-solvers on their own.

Some ways we can aim to teach them how to become problem solvers are:
⚡️ Impulse control: "It's okay to be upset about what sister did. Hitting is not okay. What can you do instead when you are upset?"
⚡️ Communication:  How did you feel when she grabbed your toy? Let's tell her. "I feel upset when you grab my toys"
⚡️ Find Solutions: "How can you work this out?" "What else is possible?"
⚡️ How to stay calm: "When I feel upset, it helps to take deep breaths and count to 3. Let's practice together. Now, how does that make you feel?"

Important note** The younger a child is the more help they need. It take a lot of practice for child to learn conflict resolution skills. Remember to focus on one thing at a time. The first thing to separate them enough create safety and support them in moving through their big emotions. Kids who are in the middle of emotional upset are not ready to move forward and find solutions. 

I'll be covering the topic of sibling conflict again tomorrow and posting a video on"What to do when one child hits and the other is crying"! Make sure you check it out if you need the extra support 😃

Are you experiencing sibling conflict? Tell me in the comments!
DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?

Toddlerhood isn’t terrible. 🌟 Toddlers are humans who have good days and bad days, needs, and expectations. Not to mention, very little life experience.

So when your toddler "misbehaves" or tells you "no!" or hits you, just remember that all behavior is communication. Your toddler is trying to become an individual and also trying to navigate their lack of impulse control and ability to regulate themselves.❤️

Here are 3 things your toddler's behavior is communicating:
→1. Feelings and emotions 
Expressed physically during the toddler years

→2. Basic needs like hunger, tiredness, connection, being heard, unconditionally loved, and accepted.
Developmental needs like being capable, independent, having a role/ feel needed, sense of control/power.

→3. Level of brain maturation:
From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops faster than any other time in life! Toddlerhood marks a new level of independence for a child and there are a lot of behavior and feelings that come with trying to create independence.

Setting appropriate expectations and using a new lens to view this age sets us up for enjoying these magical years!✨ Understanding toddler behavior is a topic that's covered in depth in the Toddler Parent Starter Kit which available for $27 at the link in my bio!

What are some expectations you have set for your toddler? 👇🏼
❤️ HERE'S WHAT EVERY TODDLER NEEDS TO HEAR ❤️

Everyone, especially toddlers, just want to be seen, heard, and
unconditionally loved and accepted. Accepting who your child is at their core, relating to them and their greatness no matter their behavior is the foundation of unconditional love. I invite you to practice communicating YOUR unconditional love so that your TODDLER feels emotionally and physically safe in both the easeful and the challenging moments. 

Afterall, toddlerhood can be a wild ride for both you and your LO and experimenting, testing, and losing patience from time to time is to be expected. It takes courage to forgive yourself and your child for being human (and vice versa) and to parent with an open heart. 👦🏽👧🏼👦🏻👧🏾 

What else would you add to the list? ↓
🌟 DO YOU KNOW WHY YOUR TODDLER HITS?🌟

All behavior is communicating a feeling and/or a need. When you see your child exhibiting a behavior, like hitting, that you don’t think is acceptable, use this as an invitation to go deeper. What do you think could be causing this strong reaction?

💭Is this (seemingly fun!) playdate or new environment overwhelming them?
💭Did another child take something out of their hands or make them upset?
💭Are they not feeling seen or heard and want your attention?

For younger toddlers, they are often experimenting with their body, level of power and your reactions. Hitting always starts out as exploratory and then some kids adopt it as a form of communication when they are having big feelings. 

It’s scary for toddlers to feel out of control physically. 😓 They don't yet know how to express their feelings and lack impulse control. But when you get down on the level of your child and get curious, that can be the shift needed for resolution without punishing the behavior. ⚡️ 

→ "I will not let you hit me, hitting hurts."
→ "I see that you're having a difficult time right now, tell me about what you're feeling."

Staying calm, confident, and empowered when faced with this challenging behavior will show your little one that you are strong enough for the both of you and that they always have a safe space to express their emotions to you, without getting physical.

How do you react when your toddler hits?👇🏼
People sometimes confuse positive parenting with permissive parenting. When in fact, permissive parenting is missing limits and therefore missing opportunities for your child to learn and to be your child's Loving Leader and Guide™ throughout the toddler years. Focusing on being the leader and guide will allow you to be in charge but still in relationship with you toddler. 

My goal is to help parents and caregivers remember that positive parenting is really about taking your child's age, development, emotions, and needs into account when addressing different behavior challenges. Positive parenting is respectful and developmentally appropriate parenting. It's about setting limits and following through on them in a way that not only teaches toddlers the behaviors we want to see but creates a connection and partnership in doing so. Trying not to use fear and threats as motivators to help them meet the limits OR not following through with them at all.

Your relationship with your child and them feeling seen and heard is just as important as setting limits so I invite you to practice understanding, compassion, and kindness and only set limits that you can follow through on. Of course, won't look perfect. it's a work n progress for us all. 

🌟 The full replay of last week's Setting Limits With Confidence Workshop is ready! Missed the workshop but want to gain access to the workshop replay and bonus material? You can still sign up via the link in my bio to get full access immediately.🌟
Even as adults, it feels good to be recognized for our accomplishments and effort. We enjoy receiving praise and it motivates us to do more of it, we're human!

So try to make it a point to catch your toddler having the behavior you want to see. This is a foundational principle of positive parenting and transforming your child's behavior in the long run.

How do we do that?💭

→You see a situation arise where your toddler has a choice...either hit her baby sister (like you've seen her do before) when she takes the toy out of her hand OR gently takes it back and says "I'm still using that". She chooses the latter and as you're watching from around the corner, your mouth drops.

She was able to act the way you taught her  to respond to that situation WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO TELL HER. This is not a small accomplishment for a toddler since their lack of impulse control usually hijacks their ability to control their behavior. 

So quick! Go over to her and acknowledge the behavior that you just saw. Acknowledging the fact that she was able to make the choice and follow through in being gentle and talking calmly to her sister even though baby sister did something that she didn't like.

⚡️ Noticing the behavior you want to see REINFORCES it.⚡️ 

Also, it's still a win if you child usually hits but then this time only sets at the air. This shows they were able to have some level of self restraint. Acknowledging this even though it's not the perfect outcome is important because it allow story toddler to build their skills to eventually get to the full outcome you are looking for! 

Do you do a happy dance when you catch your toddlers doing exactly what you taught them to do all by themselves? Our do you sometimes miss these moments because you re focused on the behavior you DO NOT want to see?💃 

🎉 Reminder: sign up for the anniversary giveaway, details in yesterday's post! ❤️
At their root, "good and bad" are judgments that we turn into labels and place on ourselves and others (including the kiddos!). There is a tendency to label a child as good when they are going along with the adults' agenda. However, if your toddler wants to keep coloring instead of putting on their shoes and coat, does that make your little one bad? You and your child having differing agendas doesn’t make either of you wrong or bad. ❤️
Here's a few more examples:⤵️
Instead of "Yelling at your Mommy is a bad thing to do. Do you want to be a bad boy or do you want to be a good boy?", try "I feel sad when I'm yelled at. Please stop yelling. I see you're upset. What happened? "
Instead of "Good girls listen to their parents. Be a good girl and listen to what your parents say", try "I see you're frustrated that I said it's time to leave now. You wish you could stay and playtime is over. It's time to go home. Would you like to hold my hand or walk on your own?"
I invite you to move away from the good/bad label and give your little one a charitable assumption by trusting they are doing their best and ultimately want our acceptance and love even when their developmental needs and lack of impulse control get in the way. That's why when we're in the role of 🌟Loving Leader and Guide ™🌟, we're teaching them the way we want them to behave while creating a connection that allows them to trust you and feel safe. Toddlers tend to listen more to the limits you set when they feel as though you're on the same team as them and are teaching them instead of judging them when they do not comply.
For a more in-depth understanding of toddler behavior and developmental stages, check out the Toddler Parenting Starter Kit at the link in my bio!
Do you use good and bad to label your child's behavior? How does that label impact how you respond (or react) to the behavior? Tell me in the comments!

Raising Toddlers Conference

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