5 Tips for Raising a Happy, Healthy Toddler
You want the best for your toddler, and you try to do everything right. However, children do not come with troubleshooting manuals. You must learn what works through trial and error. That written, following these five strategies can help ensure your success as a parent.
Very young children do not know what is expected of them. Toddlers act on impulse rather than reason, which is why they refuse to go to bed at reasonable times or ask for cookies right before lunch. To help your toddler form healthy habits, create predictable daily routines. Set strict rules, and make sure you, your partner and other caregivers enforce those rules no matter how much your child objects.
Don’t Offer Too Much Help
It’s frustrating to see your toddler struggle with simple tasks like climbing stairs or putting on shoes. However, you should let your child try, and often fail, to accomplish everyday tasks on his or her own. Jumping in to help a toddler may make things easier temporarily, but doing so won’t help your child develop problem-solving skills. It may also impair the development of his or her self-esteem, making your toddler unhealthily dependent on your assistance.
Don’t Be Overprotective
You want to keep your little one safe and unhurt, but you don’t need to freak out every time the kid stumbles and falls. When accidents happen, you need to deal with them calmly and in a composed manner. Whenever your toddler gets a minor bump or scratch, make sure he or she is all right then encourage him or her to resume playing.
Correct Bad Behavior
Toddlers do not recognize biting other kids or taking their clothes off in public to be inappropriate behavior. No matter how much you hope your child will outgrow such bad habits, that won’t happen unless you take action. You don’t need to yell, but always try to make your kid understand that behaving in ways that harm or embarrass others is wrong. After making that point, look for ways to replace bad habits with more acceptable ones.
Find Time for Older Siblings
Even though your school-aged children can pretty much take care of themselves, they still need your attention. Looking after a toddler may be a full-time job, but you must always make time for the other members of your family. Communicating one-on-one communication with your older kids assures them you still care about them. It also alleviates jealousy and sibling rivalry.
Parenting is complicated, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Making mistakes and learning from them is inevitable. Don’t second-guess your abilities as a parent, and don’t get disappointed when mishaps occur. Keep trying for the best, and you will figure things out as you go.