10 Tips for Parenting Toddlers

You'll soon learn that parenting toddlers is quite different (and exhausting). By the time your baby has become a toddler you've probably mastered a few parenting tricks to make your days easier. Your child may be on a regular sleep schedule (lucky you) or you may have figured out that bringing a spare pacifier everywhere cuts your baby's tantrums in half. Just when you think you're in a good routine - and maybe this parenting thing isn't so bad - your baby turns into a toddler. 

  1. Toddler-proof your house
    Make sure gates are up near stairways, cleaning supplies are in locked cabinets or out of reach, electrical outlets are covered and that your home is generally safe for the troublemaking hands of your toddler.
  2. Be able to laugh at yourself, often
    When you get caught in the mindset of trying to do everything perfectly, you can get easily upset over little things. If you can shake your head and laugh when your daughter leaves a "puddle" on the floor in IKEA, it will cut down on your stress level and make you have a more positive outlook on yourself as a parent.
  3. Allow your son or daughter to develop at his or her own pace
    Try not to freak out when that three-year old in your son's playgroup is figuring out how much to tip the waitress at lunch. Unless your kid is a prodigy or has developmental problems, it's usually too early to determine whether he'll get in to Harvard. Kids develop differently and what your child is "behind" on now he will catch up on later. Chances are he's more advanced at something else anyway.
  4. Step away from the toddler!
    Some of your child's most meaningful learning experiences will come when she tries things out on her own. Let her experiment some. Be close, but don't hover.
  5. Be patient 
    There will be times when your child will make you question your decision to procreate, but if you take a step back and breathe deeply, you'll get more enjoyment (and less stress) out of parenting.
  6. Choose your battles wisely
    Would you rather your child learn that his fork is not to be used to clean the electric socket, or that he be able to differentiate his salad fork from his dinner fork? The key is to prioritize. Deciding which battles are the most important is vital to keeping your sanity.
  7. Be consistent
    When it's time to enforce rules, it's essential that you are consistent. If your daughter isn't supposed to get out of bed once the lights are out, you'd better stick to it - otherwise she'll think there are exceptions.
  8. Have fun
    If you're not having fun, you're missing the point.
  9. Get away
    Moms (and Dads) need to get away sometimes. Even a short break can regenerate you and make you feel ready to handle another day. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
  10. Love and support your toddler
    Your child loves you unconditionally. He may be crying because you've scolded him, but he'll probably climb into your arms to be consoled. Giving your child the love and support he needs will help him have good self-esteem and be independent
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