Toddler Years – From Torture to Joy

The Child You Wish You Had

As a kid, didn’t you imagine having a child and how that would be?  So today, how is it possible this ornery little scamp is yours?  Maybe a changeling, like in the fairy tales landed in your crib.  You are not alone.  The subject comes up enough that experts decided to weigh in on it.  They (experts) recommend you let go and accept the child you are blessed with.  That acceptance will open the door to a whole new love.  It also releases heaps of power struggles and gives you the opportunity to experience the moment with your child.  It is possible to enjoy the toddler years…with a little help.

Judgement of Others – Look for the Good

Every time your child acts out, whether through tantrums, yelling or being obnoxious in a public area, you’ve probably gotten the “look”.  You know what we’re talking about.  The “why don’t you discipline your child?” look.  When others are judging your parenting skills, it can hurt.  It might make you feel like a failure as a parent, even when you’re doing everything you know how to do to raise your child well. 

Take a moment to breathe.  You can’t really read other people’s minds.  Maybe they’re thinking, “So glad my child is grown because those days were hard.”  Maybe they are deciding whether to reach out to help.  When we think negatively, we look for negative reactions…and we usually find them somewhere.  So, try to stop, think and look for the positive around you.  Chances are, you’ll find that too. 

With that said here are some common sense toddler years survival tips to consider:

Noise is Good, Silence is NOT. 

It’s absolutely true.  If your home is crazy noisy and then suddenly silent, you’ll run, not walk, to make sure everything is ok.  You might even be holding your breath as you do it.  Noise is the new norm, and it’s much better than what that silence means for your child.

Noise is good, Silence is not

If They get Cranky, Add Water

Seriously, when your toddler gets crabby, put them in the bathtub with some toys and watch the transformation!  No idea why, but bath time make most toddlers playful.  Probably because the game of splash the grownup is so entertaining.  But I’ll take the drenching over the tears every time.

Physical Play

Toddlers need to run and play outside.  If you skip it, you will see the difference in attitude immediately.  Not casting dispersions on your child, but just like the dog, toddlers need lots of physical play outdoors.  You may be exhausted, but your child has tons of pent up energy.  Hmm. Maybe having a dog for baby to play with isn’t such a bad idea.  If it’s out of the question, make up running games so some of that energy gets run off.  I like to think of it as leveling the playing field.

Speaking of Running, toddlers LOVE to be chased. 

They are playing around with independence but don’t panic.  They still need you and want you to come get them.  And they can finally communicate with words.  Unfortunately, the only word they want to say is “No!”

Did We Mention Locking Up The Toilet Or Bathroom?

You may be trying to potty train your cherub, but if you don’t clamp the toilet or lock the bathroom, as soon as you turn your back everything that can be stuffed down into the bowl, will be stuffed down into it.  Save the plumbing and your wallet and lock it up.

Toddlers Eat Weird Things in Weird Amounts

Know that you cannot control their insane eating habits.  Toddlers go from eating huge amounts of food to nothing in a matter of hours.  It’s normal.  Just make sure you have Sammy’s Milk on hand to balance the imbalance.

Bet you have lots of fun tips to add to this article.  Still, It’s fun to see the personality developing in the toddler years when you get past the insanity.  The growth both in size and skill level during this period are amazing to see.  And when you shift your perspective from defense to acceptance, toddler years can hold a lot of laughter and fun. In fact, you might find it to be the most priceless years you will share.

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