Top Qualities a Mom Needs to Survive Toddlerhood
I'm in the throes of toddlerhood. My youngest is 2 1/2 and very much in the “terrible, yet terrific, twos.” One minute he is asking for hugs and kisses, and the next minute he is running at me full force with fists flying because I turned off his favorite TV show.
If you are heading into toddlerhood or are a parent of a toddler, here are some helpful parenting qualities to work on to survive the toddler years.
Toddlers are unpredictable and move QUICKLY! You must never let your guard down when your toddler is on the move. Listen to this mom's story about quick reflexes:
“When my son Joel was 3, he put a penny in his mouth. I just picked him up with no training, smacked his back, and it flew out.” — Loretta McKenzie
It's important to practice a lot of patience with a child learning how to do something on their own. A toddler will insist that they do it, even if they can not, so you just have to wait for the breakdown and then help them complete the task.
Toddlerhood is as humorous as it is challenging. My little one keeps me laughing constantly! Even on the roughest days, if I step back and take the time to laugh with my son, it instantly puts the small stuff into perspective.
You have to be OK with bumps and scratches. You also have to let them explore because there will be a day when you turn around and find your 1-1/1-year-old doing downward dog on the kitchen chair or climbing up on the bar stools to stand on the kitchen island!
When you catch your toddler “helping,” it's important to be secretive while watching them.
My daughter Shelby wanted to put the laundry in the washer, but she couldn't reach, so I was trying to help. If she saw my hand touching the clothes, she yelled at me! I leaned over so I could still push the clothes in without her seeing, and she felt good that she was helping.
Developmentally Appropriate Expectations
Temper tantrums are a developmentally normal part of toddlerhood. Toddlers have lots of feeling and emotions they don't know how to process. Talk to them, not at them. Make things fun and think like a toddler. Turn picking up toys into a race or brushing teeth into a game.
Pick and choose your battles. Because there will be multiple a day. Want to wear socks inside out or dip your carrots in ketchup? Go ahead — you will have bigger battles ahead. Let your toddler be a little person and take some control over simple decisions.
What mom qualities do you find have helped you push through the toddler years?