Whether your little one is in the “Not-So” Terrific Two’s or the dreaded “Three-nager”, next to the teen years, the toddler stage is without a doubt one of the most challenging. You don’t have to practice gentle parenting to want to keep your sanity. Discipline during this stage can be tricky. It’s important to teach your child to behave appropriately, while still letting them explore the world around them and just be a child. So instead of this blog post simply focusing on the behavior of the child, let’s focus on mom and dad. Here are a few tips to help you survive the toddler years, keep your sanity, and make memories.
1. “Disobedience is NOTHING personal toward you”-When your child throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store for no apparent reason, they aren’t doing it to spite you. Contrary to popular belief your child isn’t out to get you. Toddlers consistently push their boundaries; why? Because that is what they do. Of course you know they are misbehaving to get your attention, so there is no need for me to reiterate that. Remember it’s just a stage, and don’t think they are out to get you.
Children are not problems. They have problems. Focus on helping your child, not fixing your child. -L.R. Knost
2. Pick and choose your battles-This is pretty much self explanatory. No this doesn’t mean give into every single whim. But the key is to not stress yourself out to the point where you are absolutely miserable and yelling. If your kids wants to put on clothes that don’t match, is it really going to kill you? It is so easy to get worked up as a parent. That often times we forget that our kids sometimes want to be able to express themselves in creative ways as well. Whether it is clothing, food or whatever the case may be. Not everything has to be perfect or make sense; if it makes your kid happy in that particular moment, just roll with it. Do everything possible to divert a tantrum if possible.
3. Relax- I can’t state this enough, just chill out. Whether you mainstream parent, attachment parent, don’t have a label or whatever the case may be, don’t take whatever you are doing so serious that you make your life and your child’s life absolutely miserable. And if the particular parenting style isn’t working out for you, tweak it.There is no one size fits all method for every child.
Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of our series. In the meantime if you have any tips please share!
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