Bite-Size Tips for Parenting Toddlers, Teens and Inbetweens

Jill Ceder
5 min readSep 13

Children of all ages love to push their parent’s buttons. Child development experts and psychologists assure us that these power struggles, irrational tantrums and contradicting behaviors are part of typical development, especially for toddlers and teens. Trying to control your kid, spouse, the Giants, the Apple store guy or anything else will not solve the problem.

We do have the power to adjust our thoughts and feelings about the struggles of parenting. With a few changes, you can enjoy your children more and when your behavior changes, so does your child’s behavior. Changing the way you view parenting will create a stronger and more positive relationship between you and your children.

1 | Change how you perceive the problem

Think about something your child does that makes you lose your cool. We are all triggered by different things. Is it when your toddler raises her voice in public? Or is it when 10-year-old refuses to clean his room? Think about why the behavior bothers you. Are you embarrassed in front of others? Was this behavior unacceptable when you were a child?

Many of these behaviors are frustrating, but they are also developmentally appropriate. Think about what your child may be getting out of this behavior you consider “bad.” A negative reaction from a parent is good enough for a kid who is trying to get any attention. Your angry reaction is only keeping the behavior going. The less you stress about the behavior, the sooner it will come to an end. Sometimes the power struggle is the reason the behavior continues.

2 | Share the emotional responsibility

For many parents, it is hard enough to share the physical responsibility of raising a child. One parent may take on more responsibilities such as changing more diapers and running the kids around to after-school activities.

Many parents don’t think about sharing the emotional responsibilities. If you are feeling worried about how your kid is doing in school or simply feeling overwhelmed by all the emotions that come with parenting, share those with your partner, a friend or someone you can trust. Find your village.

3 | Lower your expectations

Sometimes we forget that our kids are kids. Expecting your kids to act more mature or do things that are not age appropriate will only set them up for failure. Do you expect your child to…