If you’re the parent of a toddler, you know it can be challenging. Toddlers are starting to test their independence, figure out what they want (and what they don’t), and they’re pushing the limits of your patience for fun. This is also the time when toddlers are starting to learn what the rules are and that there are consequences for not following them. With some patience, mindful parenting, and conscious thought about how you react to situations, both you and your toddler will get through this learning time. With these parenting tips for toddlers, you will even cherish these years that pass so quickly.
7 Parenting Tips for Toddlers To Help You Enjoy These Special Years
First and foremost, always show your child love and affection. Make sure that your moments of love, hugs, and kisses outnumber the times of discipline. This will allow your child to feel safe in knowing that, even when they misbehave, they are still loved. Praise their positive actions to motivate them to do more of the things you want them to.
Limit the Rules
If there are too many rules, your toddler will have a difficult time remembering and following them all. Instead, focus on the most important rules, the ones that focus on safety and wellbeing. You can add additional rules one at a time. To make it easier for your toddler to follow the rules, remove temptation and childproof your home.
Know Their Limits
One of the most important parenting tips for toddlers is understanding that your toddler’s attention span is much shorter than yours. This means that they can become easily frustrated, leading to a tantrum. Do your best to prevent this by allowing free play time, encourage naps, and reduce the amount of time they need to stay focused.
Choose Your Battles
Saying no to everything will frustrate your child and cause them to act out. Instead, look for times it’s okay to say yes to something they want and when it is ok to encourage their independence. Try to find a balance between what you want them to do and what they want to do.
Whenever possible, encourage your child’s independence with choices. Give them clothing choices and let them decide what they want to wear. Ask them what they’d like for dinner once in a while. Let them choose between free play with their toys or coloring. Even just a few choices help them feel more in charge of their life.
Stick to a Schedule
Another great parenting tip for toddlers to try to develop a routine. If you have a daily schedule, your toddler will always know what’s expected of them and when. Try to keep to the same time for going to bed, getting up, taking a bath, reading time, etc. If they know that the same thing happens at the same time every day, the number of tantrums they have over having to do something will be reduced.
Encourage Good Communication
Remind your toddler to use their words to express wants and feelings instead of just screaming or crying. Let them know that you don’t respond to inappropriate actions and when they use their words to communicate, you can help them with what they want.
Make sure that breaking your rules comes with consequences and your child knows what they are ahead of time so they’re not surprised by the punishment if they misbehave. And if they do break the rules, uphold your consequence; they’ll be less likely to do it again.
Parenting a toddler does require a lot of patience, but if you treat them with respect and give them space for a little independence, you’ll find that they’re happier and more well behaved. These parenting tips for toddlers are designed to help you practice positive parenting that will lead to both the parent and the child feeling less frustrated and more in harmony.