Next time you’re having one of those days and your toddler is driving you up the wall, just remember that the feeling is probably entirely mutual.
You can put their erratic behaviour down to tiredness, hunger, frustration, limited communication skills, testing the boundaries – but let’s face it, the thing that’s really turned them into a ball of anger is probably you and your silly grown-up ways.
Of course, there are an infinite number of ways you can incite a toddler meltdown – many of which you are probably doing on a daily basis – but here are a few of our favourites:
1. By doing household chores
You’ve been trying to engage with your child all morning only to be met with the blank TV-stare. Then you get the Hoover out and suddenly it’s: “MUMMY BUILD TOWER… MUMMY PLAY TEA PARTY!… MUMMY, STOP THAT NOW!”.
2. By giving them the yellow plate
Toddler: “No mummy! I want the YELLOW PLATE!”
You: “But that is the yellow plate, sweetheart!”
Toddler: “Oh.” [Pause for reflection] “I want the BLUE PLATE!”
3. By changing the agenda
Never mind the migraine/ hailstorm/park closure – “YOU SAID WE WERE GOING TO THE PARK!”
Tip: Never tell a toddler you are going to the park until you are actually at the park.
4. By making them wear a coat, hat or wellies in winter
Vest, jumper and coat? What? Everybody knows the formula for toddler winter styling: nakedness + one inappropriate accessory (eg. nude + Superman cape; nude + tiara).
5. By offering them a broken snack
You’re thinking: “Just wait until you see what I’ve got for you!”
They’re thinking: “What fresh hell is this? Has MasterChef taught you nothing about presentation? And next you’ll be telling me two halves make a whole! Ooh, what’s that crumb on the floor? I think I’ll eat it.”
6. By helping them with a tricky task
Toddlers are independent people with independent minds. They do NOT need your help!
7. By not helping them with a tricky task