Helpful Tips for Parenting Toddlers
Children are a precious gift, but once they start walking around, they can become a handful. Raising toddlers can keep any parent busy, but there are some great tips to know that help make the job a little easier. Here are some helpful tips for parenting toddlers that can take some of the pressure off parents and even help them have a little fun.
Cut Down on Choices
Even grown adults can quickly become overwhelmed by too many choices, so imagine how toddlers must feel when presented with too many options. Make decisions easier for them by offering just two choices. If you’re going to the park, ask them if they want to go on the slide or the swings; when getting dressed, ask them if they wish to wear their red shirt or green shirt. This duality helps streamline the decision-making process so they can improve their logical thinking and reasoning skills without becoming overwhelmed by the prospect of deciding from an almost unlimited range of options.
Make Your House Toddler Friendly
When your child is an infant, there’s not much worry that they might take a hard right turn into the kitchen walls or find out where your toolbox is hidden. Once they start moving on their own, however, it’s a different matter entirely. You can never predict what your little ones will get up to when you take your eye off them for even a second. As such, you should seriously consider baby-proofing your house to prevent any potential hazards from becoming a problem.
Front loading your expectations with toddlers is a straightforward way to make even packed days more predictable and orderly. Keeping communication open with your toddler about each day’s schedule can prevent tantrums at sudden changes in your routine. It helps to keep expectations brief and structured. For example, you can start an activity by saying that you will play for thirty minutes, then you are going to put your socks and shoes on to go to the store. Reiterate the expectations a few minutes before the change happens as a toddler’s attention span can be short.
Most toddlers have not yet developed the vocabulary or possess the self-awareness necessary to express how they feel at a given moment. When toddlers act up, show them you understand what they’re feeling without approving of their behavior. You can paraphrase their feelings and send them back to them with statements like, “I understand you’re not feeling your best today” or, “I can see you are upset.” These statements let the child feel seen and heard and help them process their emotions more healthily.
The terrible twos and beyond don’t have to be awful. With these simple tips for parenting toddlers, you can help manage your toddler’s expectations and reduce unwanted behaviors.