Expert tips & tricks: Parenting toddlers made easy
Created by Sumitra Gopal Updated on May 25, 2020
With great excitement parents wait for their child’s first birthdays. And that’s when the rollercoaster ride begins. As toddlers advance towards their 24th month, their individuality begins to take shape. Each toddler is of course unique. They have high energy levels, they want to do things for themselves. Your child will begin experiencing all sorts of impulses, but does not yet have control over them. Tantrums will be round the corner. Patience is of paramount importance because you must remember that your toddler is still a baby.
Here’s how to raise great toddlers through some good, positive parenting:
- The most powerful word they will use is NO. And they will use it liberally. So do not overreact when you hear NO and do not take it personally. Go down to their eye level and calmly explain why a particular behaviour is not positive or safe. When you explain like this,your toddler is actually learning the skill of problem solving
- They love to imitate, so they will consciously and unconsciously imitate the people in their little world. Hence dear parents, play your roles well. This is the best stage to instill the right habits and values
- Though they love to play, they may not like to share their stuff, so handle this with patience. It is a temporary phase. Allow your toddler to play a lot as they learn most of their life skills through play.
- This is the age to set routines for your toddler. Toddlers need structure. Set a routine for waking up, sleep time, bath time, play time and learning time. Stick to the routine and set simple rewards. Drawing a little red star on their finger is a happy reward for a toddler
- Instead of praising your toddler for his smartness or intelligence, praise his efforts. Example,’ you are such a smart child’ vs,’ very good job/you did so well/.’ Instead of saying,’ you are so naughty/foolish’ say,’hey that was a naughty thing to do’. So your toddler grows up emotionally safe and with the right mindset
- This is the age of exploration and curiosity. Hence it is vital that his surroundings are enriching. Make it a point to read stories together. Do some colouring together. Take him for a walk and point out different things. Teach simple songs/rhymes. Your toddler should be able to draw lines and curves. By 3, he can learn to trace letters. Do not make your child compete with another!
- Talk a lot with your toddler. Listen to your toddler. Help him make choices by giving options. This will build a healthy relationship and tantrums will be fewer. For example,’ would you like to wear your red dress or the blue one?’ Keeping them prepared mentally is equally important. Example,’we will be visiting the dentist today, ok?’
- Tantrums occur when the toddler is deprived of loveand attention. I was travelling on a train recently and my co-passengers were parents of 2 ½ year old twins. The father was busy on his laptop and the mother was checking her WhatsApp. One twin was sleeping. The other girl was awake and kept tapping her mother and calling out, ’ma’ at least thrice. The mother kept replying ‘hmm’ without taking her eyes off the phone. The child wandered to another passenger (a toddler of 3) and tried to grab the biscuit he was eating. When he refused, she began hitting him. The mother sees this and tells the girl,’you come here and hit me as much as you want, don’t go there’ (aggression is ok?). Then to soothe the child she gives her the smartphone. I was dumbstruck.
So dear parents, relish this stage of your child. Go along in their journey, and learn how to be a positive parent. Tell us your tips on positive parenting in the comments below!