What is the first thought that comes in your mind when someone mentions “toddlers”? A pint-sized human who has the capability to melt your heart one second and drive you to the edge of crazy in the next, yes?
Basically, children are classified as toddlers when they have crossed the one year mark of life and commenced walking independently. This is also the time when they are still conceptualizing the world around them.
Toddlers don’t only have limited control over their understanding and emotions, but they are also extremely curious and determined to explore their surroundings. Thus, these traits can sometimes make it difficult for parents to keep their sanity while tending to the tiny humans.
Nonetheless, the following parenting tips are sure to come handy if you are a parent to a toddler or are going to be raising one sometime soon. Have a read!
- Display ideal behavior
We have all heard the phrase, “monkey see, monkey do”, and this is exactly what needs to be implemented here. Toddlers are too young to always rightly interpret what you tell them to do, and may often do exactly the opposite of what they are told. So, the trick is to behave the way you want them to behave instead of commanding. They are quick to pick up behavior through imitation, so use this to teach them polite behavior, basic etiquettes and anything you want to. Remember, you are their first teacher, the first adults they will ever look up to, so make this a good experience for them. Keep communicating with your toddlers to instill good habits and positive influence, as their brain is in its most powerful form in this growing stage.
- Distract during tantrums
Where there are toddlers, there are unexpected tantrums too. Always. The earlier you nail this fact into your mind, the lesser you will feel frustrated when it occurs. One of the best and highly recommended ways to deal with a toddler during tantrums is to look for ways to distract them.
Find something to divert their attention from what has triggered the dilemma, and you will be amazed how easily they forget what had troubled them. Yelling, spanking or isolating them at such a sensitive moment will do more harm than good. Furthermore, giving in to your toddler’s cries is an easy way out to quite them down, but it will only allow them the privilege to misuse tantrums to their advantage, and you obviously wouldn’t want a lot of that, right?
- Make them feel appreciated
Everyone loves to be appreciated in some way or the other, and it is no different for these tiny humans either. The more love you shower upon them, the more they will be inclined towards listening to you. Besides, always make sure to praise your little ones for even the tiniest amount of good behavior they put up. This will lead them to try and do even better to win your heart next time as well.
Moreover, getting appreciated occasionally will give their confidence level and self-esteem a boost too. On the contrary, avoid comparing them to other children or humiliating them over a mistake, for this is bound to arouse a sense of inferiority complex in their little minds and impact their overall personality as they grow up.
- Spend quality time together
It is rightly said that children crave for your presence rather than presents in their life. Make sure to spend a good amount of quality time with your toddlers on a daily basis so as to make your existence felt in their lives. They need to know that you are there for them and that they are important to you. This will also strengthen the bond between you both, and you will end up raising happy children.
Also, spending time with your toddlers doesn’t mean just sitting together. Listen to what they have to tell you with interest, talk to them just like you would with a good friend, engage in fun activities with the little ones and have a good time while putting aside all other work. No work is more important than the child you created.
- Let them act their age
This one is the most important! We get so engrossed in striving for perfection all the time that we forget our toddlers have a long way to go before they grasp what adult life is all about. Let them be children. Stop expecting them to behave like adults. They will learn with time and your unconditional love during this phase will truly support them.
If you get habitual of complaining all the time as to how they should be performing in a certain way rather than letting them explore and learn at their own pace, you will not only kill the essence of their childhood but in fact trigger self-doubt in them as well. Allow your toddlers to be imperfect.
Let them know that it is okay to try new things on their own. Let them know that it is alright if they aren’t able to meet your expectations all the time. Stop correcting them for every little thing. Teach them independence.
So what do you think? Surely, parenting toddlers is not as stressful as you had assumed it to be after all! Celebrate this joyful phase of your child’s life while it lasts, for they grow up too fast.