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Riley, a mother of two, walked up to me in distress one evening and said “my toddler suddenly hates me and I don’t know why”. It was heartbreaking to see her that way but I understood how she felt. Parenting begins at the toddler stage of your child’s life, it can also be referred to as the developmental phase as the personality of the child begins to shape up.
And no doubt it can be tough, along the line you’ll feel frustrated, overwhelmed, loved, and in this case hated, it’s a roller coaster of feelings I must admit. But you still don’t quite understand why it suddenly seems like your toddler hates you and you wonder where you went wrong?
Your toddler may seem that way because he or she is going through a phase known as toddler anxiety. It is somewhat natural, your child has evolved into feeling strong emotions which at the time they can’t quite handle, and it makes them go into their shell and shut everyone out.
You do not necessarily have to do something wrong for your toddler to feel this way, it could just happen so abruptly that you wouldn’t see it coming. Read on for full details on why it may seem like your toddler hates you.
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Why Does My Toddler Suddenly Hate Me?
When this unexpected event happens, you need to understand that your child is finding it hard to control his or her emotions, they are trying to get a hold of how they feel as they don’t quite understand it yet.
Your toddler is not intentionally being mean to you, he’s just going through a phase and you don’t need to take it personally or overreact as they will eventually snap out of it as quickly as it came.
It could be any of these two reasons:
As a mother myself, I was pretty dumbfounded and embarrassed when my toddler repeatedly rejected me but with time I came to the conclusion that toddler anxiety happens to just about any child, this is the phase where they start experiencing fears and uncertainties.
Toddlers have a lot going on in their little minds but cannot successfully express it. For this reason, they might want to stay away from people to be on their own. This may cause them to reject their parents. But do not be worried it won’t last forever.
They are upset about something
A mom once told me of her 3-year-old son whom she promised that they were going to get ice cream on a particular day but then she was so busy that she forgot. Her toddler ignored her until she remembered and made it up to him.
Toddlers aren’t good with words or expressing themselves so when they are upset or angry they tend to show it by ignoring or staying away from you. Reminisce on what might have upset your toddler and try to talk things out with them. Trust me they will listen and warm up to you.
Understanding Toddler Anxiety
Scared of being around strangers and sleeping alone.
Begins to have wild imaginations of ghosts and may avoid you.
They have more realistic fears about school, friends and family.
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Here are some tips to navigate this delicate situation.
1. Be patient with them
If your child is not responsive to you or behaves as if he hates you, do not show disappointment or worry, give them time to explore their feelings, then try to have a calm and understanding talk with them. Be sure not to force them to let you know what’s going on with them. Always let them know you are there for them no matter what. Be affectionate and playful with them as it can ease up their mood.
2. Try something fun
Toddlers love having fun, they love going to the park, zoo, or even going for playdates. If you notice a behavioral change in your kid I think it’s time to spice things up a little you can both bake together (make sure to make your toddler feel in charge) or you can ask him the funniest thing he’d like to do and watch your toddler gloom with excitement.
3. Have in mind that it is just a phase
Parenting has a lot of ups and downs and toddlers go through a lot of phases, some of these phases come as a surprise, and no matter how short they last, it usually does feel like a lifetime especially when you have all you humanly can with no luck.
Do not think about it too much or else it might cause you to overreact and make matters worse.
Just know for a fact that it is just a natural phase and that it will go away in no time. However difficult it is at the moment, keep it in kind that it is temporary.
It can be hard living every day with doubts about your toddler’s love for you. Even harder when you have no clue why he keeps ignoring and rejecting you no matter what you do. Try and keep a positive mindset. Your baby is just going through a phase called toddler anxiety.
It is important to still show him or her love and support as this can boost up their mood. Try to do new or fun things with them, kids love to have fun. But whilst trying those out make sure to be patient and give them time, don’t expect them to come out of their shell just immediately.