Because of the age range of our five kids, I had a preschooler for 17 straight years! It seemed those years would never end, yet here I am a mother of five young adults.

Today I’m thinking of those of you who are in the preschool years…particularly the terrible twos or the trying threes! I was recently sharing some encouragement with a mom of littles. If you’re in the early years, maybe you could use this encouragement as well

Make sure you’re doing proactive self-care. What fills you up? You need to be doing it regularly so you have the emotional stamina to handle the tsunami of emotions coming from your toddler. When my kids were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, I asked my husband for the first 30 minutes after he got home. We called it “Daddy wrestle time.” He would wrestle with the kids and I would go to the bedroom, close the door, and read. It would give the introvert me–who craved some alone time– just enough energy to get through the evening.

Be the parent. Don’t allow your toddler’s “loud” emotions lead your home and family. Instead let your steady leadership stand strong and not be manipulated.

Watch for issues that exacerbate the emotions—Is he tired? Is she hungry? Does she need some emotional reassurance like a hug or time for a story?  If we look beyond the symptoms with a little compassion, sometimes we’re able to lead them to what they really need.

Make sure your toddler is on a regular routine. Bedtime between 7:30 and 8:30 pm. A nap or rest time after lunch.  Eating meals and snacks on a regular schedule. The lack of routine can cause emotional swings in a toddler that longs for leadership and boundaries.

Remember—this too shall pass. The terrible twos are challenging but they’re not forever. Find encouragement in knowing that you will get to the other side of it sooner rather than later!

What about you? Would you add any words of wisdom that would be helpful for moms of littles? 

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