As parents, we know how much planning goes into ‘spontaneously’ going out to chill out or just have fun. There’s no such thing really. I might tell myself I’m the only person so panicked about taking my toddler out to the mall and not be thinking a thousand things in the back of my head.
She’ll be hungry soon. What will she eat? Need to be closer to the food court. Fast food again…I’m such a bad mum. She’ll probably need a nap after eating. How will she sleep in all this noise? I should probably just go home!
The fact of the matter is, all parents tend to get panicky! Might not be the same level of panic but it still makes you panic when you can feel your toddler about to blow into a full front tantrum in the middle of the tinned food aisle at the supermarket!
My husband tells me I’m the worrier. He says it so matter of factly, as if it’s never worried him in the least. I can read the panic on his face now (that’s what marriage does, teaches you to read a person inside out) I see him panicking about why I’m not panicked some days.
So how do we control this( yeah right like we have any control?!) how can we considerably reduce the build up to tantrums and keep ourselves sane? Here are a few things I’ve learnt in my experience. This is always changing so you have to be adaptable to toddlers needs!
– before you even think of getting dressed to head out, you need to invest in a lunch box (preferably with a funny character as this also entertains them for ages) Make sure to pack at least 3-4 snacks depending on how long you plan to stay out. These are merely distractions but also toddlers seem to eat all the time! My toddler is forever munching on something. Her lunch box typically holds – cucumber/carrot sticks, raisins, her favorite crisps, m&ms lately and a bottle of water. This can last me throughout the IKEA maze! I tend to hide her lunch box until we’re well into our day otherwise she’ll open it at home..
– ok, so we’re not trying to pass a private detective entry exam but you need to be super attentive to the way your child is behaving. This would help you see the signs and the build up of a tantrum and catch it in the bud! Getting fidgety and whiny in the pushchair? Let her out to run about for a while (they always have energy they need burning off!) tierd of walking? This is the perfect time to bring out those snacks!!
– your baby is bound to cry for your attention at some point if ignored for too long! To avoid this, interact with them, tell them what your doing or looking for. You could even get them to help you look for something specific. They tend to be very good helpers! This will keep them involved and busy! Win win.
– just remember how small they are. Repeating everything a hundred times will be super annoying but they’re learning, they’re asking questions. Feed their curiosity and be happy they are asking questions! Children are naturally inquisitive. Be kind to them by answering questions with patience. They won’t always be so small and dependent on us.