Tired of that pouty toddler lip sticking out everywhere you go? Toddlers may use the moody, pouty lip to indicate frustration, sadness, and even to get attention. Why is your toddler pouting and how can you tame the toddler pout? I've had many years of first-hand nanny and parenting experience. Because of that, I can honestly tell you the simplest tips are the ones that usually work best. These methods have been tested by me time and time again and proven effective for taming the pouty face on many different toddlers.
Why the pouty face? Getting to the bottom of things should help with a resolution. Figure out why your child is pouting. Did someone take your toddler's favorite toy? Did daddy just leave for work? Use that information to come up with a quick action plan for getting that pouty lip back in its place. It may be as simple as giving back the toy someone took away. But again, it may not. If a toddler's daddy just left for work, you can't reverse that. So you'll need another plan. Sometimes, no matter the reason, a quick solution is best for your toddler's sake and yours. Who doesn't get a pouty face themselves when seeing a sad kid?
Laugh it off! This is my absolute favorite method for banishing the pouty lip? Why? Because it's fun for the child, as well as the parent. The next time your toddler sticks out that pouty lip, go for humor. Do something completely funny and completely unrelated and break out into laughter. Turn that pout into a big smile. If you can make your toddler giggle instead of pouting, that's even better. You know your child best, so pull out your funniest tricks. Use props if necessary. Anything that makes your toddler happy is good.
I can pout like that, too! Yet another fun method, this gets your toddler thinking about things from another perspective. Get down on your toddler's level and stick out your pouty lip, too. See how long that pouty lip stays in place. The art of mimicking is often enough to get a toddler to understand how silly the pouty lip may be. Now, this method is more for toddlers who are overusing the pouty lip to get attention. You don't want to mock a child who is hurt or upset. That may come across as uncaring.
Distraction is a beautiful thing. If the pouty face blues are persistent, try distraction. Use your toddler's favorite activities or items to draw attention away from the upsetting moment. Start playing with a favorite toy or reading a favorite book. It's interesting to see how quickly a toddler can become interested in a new activity. Your toddler may still pout at the beginning of an activity, but once engagement in the activity happens, the pouty lip will be no more. It may be tricky keep a toddler interested at first, but if you make it fun, that pouting face will eventually disappear.
Hug that pouty lip goodbye! Sometimes all a pouty-lipped toddler needs is a simple hug. Good old comfort never hurt anyone. In fact, perhaps this was all that was needed all along. Your toddler may just be using the only way he knows to get attention. Even toddlers who are talking may still have some lingering baby habits. Remember that as a baby, your toddler had to be creative in getting your attention. That may still hold true in certain cases. Sometimes the best forms of communication are motions and sound effects. The pouty lip may just mean your toddler needs some extra love.
*Note: The author's "Positive Parenting" method has grown and evolved into what she dubs "Upstream Parenting."
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
As a mom to many (who is also experienced at babysitting and nannying), I have dealt with many bumps and scrapes along the way. Some children will scream for a small nick and some will not even flinch or give any injury a second thought. I have learned over the years that much of the child's reaction has to do with the parent or care-giver's reaction. Learn how to keep a child screaming or overreacting about small cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries.
Check Yourself First
If the adult drops everything and runs screaming in panic for every small cut, then so will the child. That is no way to keep a child from screaming about cuts, scrapes, and other injuries. As the adult, it is your responsibility to calm and soothe a child in a stressful or painful situation, not to make it ten times worse. Even if you are scared, worried, or nervous, the best thing you can do for the child is to never allow the child to see how you feel.
Soothe Without Alarming
A better thing to do is to aid the child with whatever first aid is needed, all the while acting like and verbalizing that everything is okay. Let the child know that he or she will be just fine, even in an emergency situation. Take all the precautionary steps necessary, but without upsetting the child about their cut, scrape, or other minor injury. Do not let on that something might be wrong.
Get Help And Stay Calm
You can call 911, if needed, obviously, but still reassure the child. Do not ever let the child see you panic. If it is an emergency situation, sometimes stress can worsen certain conditions. It is always best to keep the child calm. If you cannot keep calm during the minor situations, such as cuts and scrapes, neither will the child. Children learn from what they observe. If a child gets worked up over a minor situation, imagine how panicked the same child could be over a big incident.
End The Drama And Be The Mama (Or Dad) Instead
When I was maybe around 18 years old, I knew a girl that always panicked for minor cuts. She would act as if she were going to die. No matter how many times someone would attempt to soothe her, it never worked. It would take her over an hour to calm down. I always worried that if she ever had anything serious happen to her, she would put herself into shock. I'm not sure if that's possible, but I know she would likely get a nervous breakdown. I'm not sure if anything bad happened to her, but I sure hope it didn't.
The reason for bringing up that girl is that I remember her mom doing the same. If she tripped lightly, her mom would rush to her and say, "Oh, honey, are you okay?" Even if she said she was, her mom would still continue asking again and again and offering her band-aids and ice for something that wasn't even there. She would scream and panic. This mother's behavior likely led to the child's behavior. As I said before, children learn from observing those around them, especially their parents.
Gentle Guidance Toward Knowing When Situations Are Minor
This is how I suggest handling minor situations. If the child just trips, a quick "Uh-Oh" and a laugh is really all that is necessary, especially if the child isn't hurt. If the child is hurt, still do the same and examine the child in a fun way, like mentioning that you want to search for Elmo or some other funny thing. Look at the child's injury and determine what needs to be done. Then, do it, but make it fun and say things like "Oh, that doesn't look bad at all. Let's just put a band-aid (or whatever other treatment is necessary) on here in case. " Doing it in a fun way not only helps the child forget what is going on, but it also reassures the child everything is okay. After all, it must be okay if the adult is laughing, smiling, and playing.
Does your child overreact about minor injuries or laught it off or something in between? What behaviors of yours are affecting the outcome and do any need changing? Drop us a comment with your experience below.
Last updated 12/7/2020
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About the Book:
The Upstream Parenting method will help you learn how to connect with your children, raise them to be independent thinkers, and how to gently guide them to succeed on their self-chosen path. Upstream Parenting is a proven child and growth-focused method that has been put to use with all six of my children, as well as with countless kids I've nannied over the years.
What is Upstream Parenting?
The Upstream Parenting journal contains articles full of tips based on the parenting method invented and made popular
by Lyn Lomasi.
You may know of her original method, first coined "Positive Parenting". It has since followed the tides of life into its new moniker of Upstream Parenting.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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