If mortifying supermarket visits, car journeys and bedtimes that drag on for hours sound familiar, help is at hand for both you and your toddler
From supermarket strops to bedtime banter, it's rare that a day goes by without your child trying to get the upper hand. So how do you cope? It's all about setting boundaries before trouble begins - and knowing where their limits lie, says Charlie Taylor, behavioural expert and author of Divas & Dictators. "As parents we inevitably hit sticky patches," he says. "But we can get stuck in a cycle that begins to feed the bad behaviour and make it more likely to be repeated." If it feels like you're stuck in that cycle, here's how to cope - whatever the location or time of your diva or dictator meltdown moment.
Remember the days when you decided when to get up? Now you're ruled by your little one's waking hour. "Most of the time, parents can predict which times of day and under which circumstances there's going to be trouble," says Charlie. So if your little one is an early riser, here's what to do:
Whether it's a five-minute trip to town or a two-hour drive, a diva or dictator in the car spells trouble. "Being in a car, for your child, is a desperately boring and unnatural experience," says Charlie. "It's inevitable they'll whinge, fight, cry, shout and bicker."
It's a nightmare scenario for many a mum - a very long list, a very busy store and a brewing tantrum. "Making a plan and sticking to it, even if you're going to have the embarrassment of a screaming child on your hands, is the key to a smooth supermarket shop," says Charlie.
Having trouble getting your little one tucked up? "Children resist bedtime as they lack the self-awareness to realise they're tired," says Charlie. "It can also give them an opportunity for lots of attention."
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