In your pre-mommy days, you would never have imagined that a two-year-old聽could rule your entire life. Then you became a parent and started聽scrambling for 10-minute toddler meals to throw together between crises. They want a cookie, but it鈥檚 bedtime. They want a new toy, but they just got one yesterday. They want 鈥 well, they don鈥檛 really know WHAT聽they want. But that鈥檚 not going to stop them from throwing a tantrum聽and indulging their toddler 鈥渘o鈥 addiction. Suddenly you feel like you鈥檙e on the losing end of an imaginary battle. But you鈥檝e got this! Check out these easy ways to help you rally and win the toddler war, so you can get back to sparking your tot鈥檚 creativity.

1. Be firm, but loving. That wishy-washy, 鈥渦m, honey, could you please stop hitting mommy鈥 tone isn鈥檛 going to help anyone out. You need to approach your toddler with a firm voice. That doesn鈥檛 mean you should yell, scream, or otherwise act in a threatening way. Keep the love alive, but express it in a voice that conveys, 鈥淵ou ARE going to listen to me.鈥

2. Have confidence in yourself. Toddlers can smell fear. Okay, maybe they can鈥檛 literally. But they can tell when it鈥檚 super-easy to pull one over on mom. Whether you鈥檙e telling your kiddo that it鈥檚 time to leave the park or you鈥檙e refusing to indulge their ice cream fantasy in the middle of the mall鈥檚 food court, state your point with complete confidence. They鈥檒l see that you mean business and realize they can鈥檛 bend mama鈥檚 will to meet their own tantrum-prone whims.

3. Use fewer words. The one-woman show you鈥檙e giving your tot isn鈥檛 doing much to calm them down: It鈥檚 a five-page monologue, and they lost interest about four and a half pages ago. Shut down that instinct to talk it out like you would with a grown up. Your two-year-old isn鈥檛 developmentally ready to listen to and completely understand that mini-speech you want to give. Take whatever you want to say and turn it into a two- to three-word sentence. For example, your toddler is throwing their finger paints. Your mama instinct says to sit them down and explain why tossing those blues and reds around isn鈥檛 nice. But they might respond better to a simple, clear, 鈥淣o throwing.鈥

4. Get specific. Even though getting into a lengthy diatribe isn鈥檛 the way to go, oversimplifying things may not work either. While you should minimize how many words you use, you should also stay specific. (And clever word choice wouldn鈥檛 hurt either.) Avoid a constant stream of no鈥檚. The more you say no, the less it will mean to your child. When it comes to alternatives, switch things聽up or add a second (more specific) word. Clarify a simple 鈥淪top!鈥 to 鈥淪top pushing鈥 or 鈥淪top pushing mommy.鈥

5. Keep consistency with your rules. There are no pre-bedtime snacks in your house. It鈥檚 a rule. But when your tot starts whining, you break down and hand over a treat. Sometimes. Other times you have more oomph left in you and are able to turn their demands down. Success! That is, if you wanted to succeed in confusing your toddler and losing whatever authority you used to have. Pick your rules wisely, and stick to them. Doing so shows your kiddo that you mean business and cuts down on their confusion.

Tweet us the biggest toddler battle you鈥檝e faced聽@BritandCo!

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