The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Toddler Advice-Part One

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!


  1. These are great tips! My daughter is getting ready to turn 1 in a couple weeks and there are so many changes happening with her...acitivity level, speech, etc. I love the tip on encouraging them to play independently. That's definitely something I'm going to work on with my little girl.

  2. Oh my goodness do my girls talk. And talk. And talk! I get comments all the time about how much they talk :) It's constant, and I let them unless we are in church or someplace where they need to use their quiet voice. Which sometimes is not quiet. At all.

    I am huge on routine, so I built snack time into that, otherwise we would always be in the kitchen :) We have snacktime at 10:00am and again at 3:00pm. My 3 yr old can now tell time since when she wants a snack the first thing I say is "What time is it?"

    Oh...but I have more :) Great post and I look forward to reading more tips.

    And...of COURSE you can give advice!!

  3. #1 and 2 absolutely right on.
    Roxy is such a chatterbox and funny enough even though Haven can't "talk" yet she is and has been the noisiest baby I have ever met. Seriously.
    I've never "made" Roxy sit and play by herself, she just does it. It's not daily, but weekly is a good start for us.
    As for fighting the food fight, we don't, but I'm really interested in finding out where...
    "She gets plenty of vitamins and minerals from other sources that if she doesn't eat her broccoli one night, it will be okay."
    Do you just do supplements or do you do it a different way? I'm all ears.
    I don't think I have a problem with hiding food from her but I think I'll always offer it in its known form anyway.

    I think my only other advice would be to "allow" messy play. When I worked at The Little Light House we always had crafts and texture play, whether it was sticking their hands in dry rice or cool whip, or like a day like today where we finally had rain (yay!) letting them play in the mud. I think it is essential to them being children, and learning about the Earth.

  4. thanks, maggie! it took some work to get my oldest to play independently, but it was worth it!

    aurie, i am pretty sure we need scheduled snack time at our house also!!!

    thanks, e!

    and jess, i mainly meant that we eat such a wide variety of foods that if at one meal she won't eat a veggie it will be okay. some days belle loves green beans the next day she hates them! both girls eat a lot of fruit and yes, the girls have been on a vitamin. i also try to look at their diets on a more weekly perspective than daily. good advice about messy play...we for sure don't do that enough at our know how i am about messes!!!!

  5. these are great tips! i find #3 so hard... i know i "shouldn't" get worked up about mealtimes, but i still sometimes really have to watch myself. often my son just eats like a bird and it really stresses me out! then i look at him and see how healthy and normal he looks and figure... something's going right so i should just relax! it's hard though. :) and yes, wow, do they talk! we giggle at how constantly our son is chattering, even though most of it is still unintelligible. and alone play? a MUST! i'm trying to get him up to an hour a day for when our new baby comes. then he'll have one nap time and one quiet time that i hope i can coordinate at least one of those times with one of baby's naps to give myself some sort of break during the day. fingers crossed it all goes well!! :) keep the great tips coming!!