Thursday August 16, 2018
You will certainly know when you have a 19 month old toddler in the house because there will rarely be a dull moment! True, there will be a few difficult moments when life all becomes too much and a tantrum begins, but for most of the time, they are so much fun to be with as they are curious about everything, developing their speech even more and bursting into laughter when you pull a funny face or put some socks on your head and pretend you don’t know how they are worn! Of course, guaranteed laughter comes with tickles!
At 19 months, your toddler is trying hard to assert their independence and your keyword for tackling this is ‘compromise’. They are keen to be independent and they don’t want to be challenged – you will find it far easier if you talk to them nicely and offer a compromise to any difficult situation. If you are keen to have the living room tidy, but your toddler definitely doesn’t want to help, make it more fun by suggesting that if you put the bricks in the box, they can clear the puzzle away. If they are not keen to go out, why not suggest a five-minute story together first? To help your toddler feel independent you can introduce some simple choices for them to make – only give them two choices or they will find it too confusing, but they will love the fact that they made the decision.
Whilst your toddler will certainly understand much of what you are saying, they are still developing their speech and will need some help. Talk with them whenever you can and ask them questions about what they can see and hear when you are out and about– but make sure you wait patiently for their answer. If they do not pronounce a word correctly, don’t mention so but say a different sentence to them using the word correctly. It is fun to introduce colors and numbers and to see if they can tell you what color the tractor is in the field or how many dogs are standing by the gate. By this age they will already know the names of some parts of their body such as their nose and toes but add to the list perhaps with the song ‘head shoulder knees and toes’ which will certainly produce plenty of laughter too. No doubt you will have taught them some animal noises and again this is something all toddlers enjoy and if you have the chance to visit a local farm or pet shop – even better!
Meal times at this stage can become difficult as your toddler is trying to be independent but is also being a fussy eater. Be imaginative with the food you serve especially as children love dips and sauces. A selection of carrot, cucumber sticks and some pieces of breadstick with a small bowl of hummus could be very successful. An assortment of different fruits including blueberries plus strawberry and kiwi pieces with a little bowl of Greek yogurt for dipping can prove to be a very successful pudding or snack. Sometimes enjoying a meal outside as a picnic can be appealing – especially if your toddler is involved in its preparation.
There is no doubt about it, whatever you do, there will be tantrums! Most toddlers have a least a few and it is a natural part of their development. Stay calm throughout – which is easier said than done – and try to distract your toddler. Once the tantrum has passed, your toddler may well snuggle into you for reassurance that you still love them and because they probably feel overwhelmed by the strength of emotion they experienced. If the tantrum happens outside don’t worry about what other people think – many will be feeling sympathetic as they remember being in the same situation. I claim the prize for the best tantrum! My son became really cross in the ladies’ lingerie department of a well-known chain store and to vent his anger he threw every single pair of ladies’ knickers he could grab onto the floor! We were soon surrounded by staff and shoppers who kindly helped me pick them all up whilst one lovely elderly lady kept him distracted! The best part was later that evening as I gave him a kiss goodnight he – proclaimed ‘no like knickers’!