Okay, so I realize you may be saying to yourself, "who does she think she is to give advice?" but as a mom of two toddlers, and an older sibling of two brothers, and someone who has two younger nieces and a nephew, and someone who has worked with kids throughout my life, I do feel like I may know a thing or two about kiddos. And while my advice may not work for you or your family, my bet is it will help most people who have toddlers or will have toddlers at some point. If this doesn't apply to you, or you think I am a moron, feel free to quit reading!
1. Realize toddlers talk....A LOT. I was at the grocery store last night and a lady with a three year old son was in front of me in line. Her son was walking around just talking and singing away. Not to anyone, just to himself. I asked the lady how old he was and we started talking about how much toddlers talk. Seriously, a lot. Non-stop is how I would describe it. Now I am sure not every toddler talks non-stop, but probably most. So, just be prepared. You will wear yourself out trying to get them to be quiet, or stop singing, so stop trying. If they aren't interrupting you and if they aren't screaming and you know, if you aren't in church or the library or somewhere that demands quietness, get over it. Let them talk and talk and sing and sing.
2. Have time where your children/toddler has to play by themselves. Children learning to entertain themselves and use their imagination is very important. You do not want a kid growing up telling you how bored they are all the time. Kids need to be able to be by themselves and play all on their own. If your toddler is not one to spend any time by themselves, start out small, with maybe just five or ten minutes a day where they have to play in their room. Build up from there to maybe a half hour or forty five minutes of solo play time. Not only will you have some time to get something done, or read a magazine or whatever, but your child will be able to learn some independence.
3. Don't fight the good fight at mealtimes. I am sure you have heard something about the difficulties toddlers can present at mealtimes. At our house, Molly is a champion eater, but Belle, not so much. If I fought with her about eating we would be fighting all the time. And I am pretty sure I would lose. So we have a dinner rule that we follow (that I stole from my good friend, Stephanie), Isabelle has to take at least one bite of everything on her plate. If after that she only eats noodles, or bread or chicken, but no veggies, okay. I am not going to spend every meal time begging and pleading and bribing her to eat her veggies. She gets plenty of vitamins and minerals from other sources that if she doesn't eat her broccoli one night, it will be okay. Fighting with your kids at mealtimes will only produce an unhappy kid and unhappy parents. And I can promise you, it is highly unlikely your child will grow up nutritionally deficient. If you are super worries about them getting veggies, sneak them in. There are several cookbooks on the market that can tell you how. I personally would rather Isabelle get used to eating broccoli in its regular form than 'hiding' it from her. But that's just me.
So there it is, my first post about toddler advice. I plan to post more. I recently read a blog about writing blogs that suggested you focus on your passion. My passion is my kiddos and being the best mom I can be. I also want to help other SAHM who feel bored, or useless, or frustrated with their children. So, you may see more about parenting on this here blog. Maybe not though. I have been know to change my mind!!!! Have a great piece of advice about toddlers? I would love to hear it!