Confident Toddlers. The baby phase soon passes so you should try and enjoy as much of it as possible. As once a child has grown you cannot recapture this magical time.
Leaving babyhood behind your child becomes a toddler. How do you know when your baby has become a toddler? There is no specific age but believe me you will know when it happens. The defining moment for me is when you realise that the baby who did everything says "No".
When you have a toddler, take some time out to sit down and play with them every day. Get down onto the floor at his level and spend quality time with them. They will love the attention and they won’t be a toddler for very long. Also by putting yourself on his level, you can see potentially dangerous hazards. Ones that you may not have noticed from your taller viewpoint!
Children learn from play. It is very important to give them a lot of encouragement and let their imaginations run wild. Feed their inner belief that they can do or achieve anything they want to in life. Give them paint and messy stuff to play with and see what they get up to.
When buying them toys, don’t opt for the most expensive item. Toddlers have no conception of money. They are likely to get as much enjoyment out of the box as the toy figure from the latest film.
Also buy age appropriate toys. You won’t inspire your child to become the next Albert Einstein by giving them a chemistry set when they are two. Also don’t push your child too fast or too hard. Let him/her enjoy their toddlerhood as school is around the corner.
It is important that both parents support and agree with each other on how to raise a confident toddler. If one parent says that something should be done a certain way, the other parent must back them up. If they disagree, then have a chat about it later in private. But always try to present a united front when it comes to parenting and discipline. Confident toddlers thrive on behaviour
Toddlers soon learn how to play parent against parent. If this allowed to happen it will only lead to heartache and frustration for all concerned. Show your child that both of parents love them and each other. Parents showing each other mutual respect are good role models for confident toddlers.
Remember to praise your toddler but try not to link it to behaviour all the time. Confident toddlers develop when their parents praise them for their smile and laughter. Not just for their abilities and achievements.
It is crucial that parents to establish an individual relationship with their child. Children need both parents. Some parents find it difficult not to hover around when dad is looking after MY baby. Many dads won’t be the best at nappy changing or other baby related tasks. But the safety of their confident toddlers is very important to them. Boys in particular learn from their dads.
In the modern world of long working hours, a lot of parents don’t see their kids much during the week. Make time at the weekends to develop that special bond with your kids.
Try to make an arrangement with your employer so that at least one parent can be home before the toddler goes to bed. Making dinner or doing the housework can wait. Spend some quality time with your toddler, read him/her a story whilst giving them loads of cuddles. This way you are reinforcing the message that he/she is a very special person who is loved and treasured.
A lot of working mums spend the weekend sorting out the house. Or doing the shopping and getting ready for the next week. All this has to be done but your priority should be spending time getting to know your children. Try shoping online and have the groceries delivered. Dragging your toddler round the shops on a Saturday is not quality time.
If you are lucky to be in a two parent family, arrange family outings. These do not need to be expensive. Toddlers love exploring in parks and feeding the ducks and swans.
Try and give them freedom in the playground. Encourage them to be adventurous and to try out new things. If you go to any play centre you are likely to hear parents telling their kids to be careful or they will get hurt. "Don’t go too high, too fast, too slow, etc". These parents mean well – they are trying to prevent their child sustaining an injury.
But to be confident toddlers they need to run free sometimes. I am not suggesting that you let them play in traffic. But in the safety of a play centre, you might want to curb your own fears and let them get on with it. They may fall and hurt themselves. But it will be minor and forgotten as they excitedly tell you they went the highest, fastest etc.
We need to accept that bruises, grazes and other injuries are part of childhood. As a parent you will spend time at the hospital with your kid, that is life. Within reason, you need to encourage risk taking. Taking calculated risks and winning will instil confidence in your toddler. It will motivate them to believe that if they try hard enough almost anything is possible.
Finally remember that babies who grow into toddlers for a reason. Most toddlers will test their parents patience at some point. There is a reason why the “ terrible two’s” have that name. There will be days when all of us will lose our tempers and say something that we shouldn’t to our young children.
Don’t obsess over this – as long as it doesn’t become a pattern it won’t stop your toddler being confident. Apologise and move on. You are showing your toddler that parents can make mistakes too and that they are also human beings!