It’s funny how an eighteen month old can soak up stuff like a sponge. P LOVES to imitate! What toddler doesn’t? His latest and greatest trick….”earmuffs mama”. (It’s my favorite, besides when he “sings to Jesus” – which is, by the way, to die for!) But, earmuffs is pretty funny…especially when he does his rendition of “lalalalalalalalala” as he is doing earmuffs. As if he is truly trying not to hear the bad stuff. God love him!
However, there are sometimes…when he is not so cute and instead of earmuffs, it’s more like temper tantrum. I guess they call it the terrible TWOS for a reason. I thought I would take this chance to give you some pointers on toddler proofing your nerves. Here are a few things you should know:
1. Spend time with your toddler. The number one thing your lil guy (or girl) may need from you is your time.
2. Have a plan during your time together. A good plan will allow you to spend QUALITY time with your toddler and won’t leave them begging for your attention.
3. Choose toys that are both entertaining AND educational. Entertaining because your toddler’s attention span is short lived AND educational because curious minds are sponges!
4. Be affectionate toward your toddler. They L O V E affection so never push them away when they reach for you. This will leave a toddler feeling rejected.
5. Praise Praise Praise! When your lil one does something well, let them know you are happy about it and praise them. This is an attention getter for toddlers so once you praise them once…they will start searching for ways to draw more praise from you. (This is how I get my son to eat dinner most nights.)
6. Be conscious of what you say and do in front of your peanut. Toddlers imitate what they see (earmuffs) and repeat what they hear (luckily we are not to this point yet). Toddlers look at you as their audience.
7. Try not to give your toddler sugar snacks right before bedtime or naptime. Low-energy snacks are better.
8. Teach your toddler to sign. This will help them communicate with you and eliminate some of the frustration of not being able to tell you what they want.
9. Don’t OVER-stimulate your toddler. Too many things at once is confusing for them. They will lose interest in all of them if your not careful.
10. BUY AN ELMO DVD! F O R R E A L! One full hour of entertainment…by someone besides yourself. A great break for mommy’s who are about to be sent over the edge.