This article originally appeared on Twigtale and was reprinted with permission.
Some days it may seem like your toddler is actively trying to make your job harder, but Dr. Harvey Karp, Twigtale’s editor-in-chief, promises he is not. It’s just that he is a little like a miniature caveman who may not see the value in patience and logic. Dr. Karp outlines four major struggles that our primitive little children face every day:
1. Being inside is boring … and too exciting.
Dr. Karp explains that toddlers are fascinated by nature and are happiest when they have lots of time to run around with other kids outside the house. Our homes, however well decorated, just don’t compare. As strange as it sounds, toddlers are often bored at home and – at the same time – they’re often overwhelmed by the high-tech stimulation they encounter in our modern world. Television shows, video games, and even toys with too many bells and whistles, can stress them out.
2. The right side of the brain is in control.
Adults and older children operate from a more balanced brain, but toddlers (8 months to 5 years) are ruled primarily by the more primitive, emotional right side…especially when upset. This means that your little one may be reasonable and patient when calm, but unravels into impulsive, distractible, flailing fits during BIG emotions.
3. Tots are just acting like tots!
Your toddler is wired to be thrilled by walking, climbing, pulling things down, breaking things open…and shrieking with joy (or anger). He also has a short attention span and is probably the most stubborn human being you know right now. Cavemen can be silly and so much fun to be with, but our little Neanderthals don’t always make the best roommates.
4. Personality is thrown into the mix.
Your child’s unique temperament means she may naturally be more easy going, or shy and sensitive or a wild child who is determined to pull everything off the shelves and bounce on your sofa cushions all day long.
Once you understand your toddler’s mature, verbal left brain gets dialed down when he’s upset, it’s easier to figure out how to talk to him in a way that works. This is where Twigtale can help!
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