Screaming, crying, and throwing things is a situation that many parents of toddlers are used to. Then kids act up as well, and things can get really tough! 😉 Of course, I’m joking concerning the parents’ behaviour, but raising a toddler can be a challenge that regularly pushes you to the edge of your patience, and sometimes it can feel as if it edges you towards the borders of your sanity as well. Luckily, you can pick up some savvy strategies for making bringing up Baby a lot easier in my post below. Just read on to find out more.
A positive parenting style
What is your parenting style, do you even know? Many of us don’t because it’s not something that we consciously think about before we have children. However, it can be useful to have an overarching approach when you are a parent if only to keep things on track and to stop yourself being pulled off course by all the fads, trends, and different advice that there is out there.
Of course, when you are parenting with a partner or ex, it can really help to know what their approach to things is as well. This is because not only can you present a united front when with the kids, but you can also tailor specific roles to your strengths as well. For example, some mums may be better at setting boundaries and consequences, while dad is great a bedtime duty.
Help them to love and understand food
Next when it comes to raising a toddler one of the most significant issues is food. Some kids can’t wait to start eating like a ‘grown-up’ while others are pickier and difficult to please. However, no matter what their current attitude to food is it is your job to help them to not only love mealtimes and eating but also understand that food is crucial for energy and health as well.
Happily, introducing them to these concepts is something that is much more fun and easy to do if you start them young. At first, this may take the form of offering a variety of healthy options for meals and snacking such as fruit, raw and cooked vegetables, and fully balanced meals. You can even get them involved in preparing these dishes and growing the ingredients for them in the garden later on as well.
One thing that is absolutely crucial here, however, is that you need to make mealtimes as stress-free for your toddler as possible. This means ensuring that they get the right nutrition, but you don’t overexert control on exactly what or how they are eating, at least when they just begin.
This is because control can be a massive issue when it comes to toddlers as they are only just realising they are an individual within themselves. That means when it comes to food baby-led is usually the best approach as it allows them to retain some control and choice, while still choosing from a healthy and nutritious selection that you provide for them.
Dealing with tears and tantrums constructively
Tantrums, they are the reason parents put ‘terrible’ before the word twos. In fact, no matter how placid and well-behaved your child is, at some point, they’re going to have a meltdown in the middle of Morrisons, and people are going to look at you as if you are the worst parent in the world.
Take heart though, because you can get through these instances, as well as all the others that will occur! To do so, first of all, remember that just because your kid is crying it doesn’t make you a bad parent. In fact, you officially have my permission to ignore any judgemental looks from strangers in this situation.
Secondly, while it may seem like the best idea to join your little ones in getting frustrated, angry, and loud, it’s really not. In fact, just like so much else, your toddler is doing at this age a tantrum is often about control. They are basically testing their will against yours to see who’s is the strongest, and for things to go your way consistently, you need to demonstrate that is yours.
However, the way you do this is fundamental, and you cannot rule by fear, anger, or any other negative emotion if you want your child to be happy now and in the long term, and able to properly manage their feelings.
To that end dealing with tantrums calmly and quietly is always the best approach. While having a press practised set of consequences for misbehaviour can be hugely useful as well. Although, you must make sure that you are constant and calm with applying this both at home and in public for it to work.
Lastly, it can really help to remember that your toddler is just a baby and that they are being bombarded by new experiences all the time, and occasionally this can all get a bit much for them and come out negatively. Yes, it’s not ideal, especially when your in the freezer sections of Sainsbury’s, but it also isn’t the end of the world, and it is possible to cope.
Get some mumtastic (or dadtastic) me-time
Something else that can help you to be the best mum ( or dad) possible. Do you know what it is? It’s not parenting books, excellent childcare, endless patience, or the ability to whip up a home-cooked dinner in 15 minutes flat. In fact, it’s being able to take some time out for yourself on occasion. Something that can help you recharge, refresh and gain perspective on your entire parenting experience.
Of course, finding the time to do this can be tricky, as parenting is something of a 24/7 job, with no holidays or time off for good behaviour! However, making a commitment to something that is unrelated to being a mum can make all the difference.
To that end, setting aside some time each week to attend a book club, go to an exercise class, or even flex your cerebral muscles by taking a course is something that all mums should consider.
You can even complete fascinating business management courses via distance learning now. Something that will not only give you a break away from the stresses and strains of mum life but can also boost your employability and build your career network as well.
Getting them out the door in less than an hour!
Have you ever tried to get a toddler ready for a trip out? It’s like wrangling an octopus! No sooner have you got one shoe, sock, or glove on than they are taking it off while you try and do the other! Then there are all the supplies you need to find to take with you including milk and bottles, healthy snacks water, wet wipes, and the rest!
Happily, there is a strategy you can use to make this most gargantuan of tasks easier, and it’s all about streamlining. In fact, you can streamline this process in three major ways.
The first is pre-packing at least two travel bags with everything you need that isn’t perishable. Then set aside a draw in the fridge dedicated to things you need to keep cool, so there are accessible quickly and easily. After that, it is just a case of grabbing the bag and running out the door. Much quicker!
Next, keep a box in the hallway with all other outdoor clothes including coats, shoes, socks, and the like. Also keep a picture book there that you can use to entertain your toddler while you get them dressed.
Lastly, don’t forget that you can significantly reduce the hassle of getting ready to leave the house with a toddler by teaching them to get themselves ready as early as possible. Yes, it may take longer than it would if you did it, but not only is it excellent fine motor skills practice but it’s is also an essential part of setting them up to be as independent as possible in the future. Albert minimally and gently at first.
Sleep, perhaps the most challenging of all issue faced by the parents of toddlers! In fact the question of what to do if your little one just won’t shut their eye and go to sleeps dogs many of us?
One solution is to get them in a regular routine at bedtime, or you may wish to try Supernanny’s smart way of stopping them from getting up throughout the night? You can even try using a white noise machine as this can cut out background sound and prevent them from being woken during the night.
Of course, some nights they just won’t sleep no matter what you do, and then is when your final, secret weapon comes into play. Yes, that right it’s time to grab a tablet, tuck the little one in bed, and find an episode of the In The Night Garden, completed with a yawning Upsy Daisy to get them to nod off gently! After all, if you are going to stay sane while raising toddler sometimes you will need to play your trump card!