Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Tots

What are the best ways to have a happy toddler?
  1. They must nap every day
  2. Have rules and help them learning them
  3. play with them
  4. Include them
  5. Remember their age

Now for my thoughts on the list. Yes I did put them in the that order for a reason. I think that tots and even most preschoolers need a nap everyday at least a quit time on the beds. We live in a world that thinks it is good to get as much as you can done on as little as sleep as possible. I will not get into that but don't do it to you kids. Some kids are more willing than others to sleep but I do think it is the parents job to make sure they get what they need. If you kid is unhappy a lot of the time for no reason my guess is he needs more sleep.

That brings me to point number two having rules. I don't think you should have a house run like the army rules for everything. You need to think about what is most important to you and make rules about it. For me a big one with grilygirl is listening when she is called. So if her dad or I call her name she must stop what she is doing and come. If she doesn't I go to her and get so I am looking in her eyes and say "Mommy called you must come" in a firm but none yelling voice. I think hold her hand and we walk to where I was when I called her. I then go on with what I wanted her to come in the first place. You don't have to be mean or punish you kids to teach them. Just do the same thing each time they will learn.

Again you are not the army so you can have fun. I think young children learn so much by playing with others. I also think it brings them great joy when that other is mom or dad. Getting down on the flour and building with the blocks they never touch will not only be fun for your child but you can each them. Just by talking about what you are doing it helps them learn new words. When you are play try to talk as much as possible give your child a turn to talk too. Even if he doesn't have words yet. Another way to play with your child is to read and we have all heard how important that is. When playing with your kids you show them you are willing to do what they like to do.

Yeah but with all we have to do the time we have to play is not very much so don't leave them out when you are with them. Make you time count. That means let them "help". I know it may take longer to let a toddler help you but before long he will be a kid then a teen if helping is what they have always done they will just keep helping. Plus tots love to "help". There are times they can't help. That is fine let them know that. Girlygirl is only 16 months I need her out of my way when I am cooking. I will often first try to get her to play something before I start. By getting out some books or a toy she loves. She will then play for some of the time I am cooking. When she comes to see what I am doing I tell her "Mommy is cooking right now" I pick her up and show her the food talk about it a little. I then tell her "I need to finish now. You can sit her and watch or go play more if you want." I then put her down and let her choice what she wants do to. But she has to pick one of the things I said. She can't hang on my leg. If she does I put her in her the spot I told her to sit. Yes sometimes she will cry. I tell her why I did that and she can go play if she wants. Then I go back to cooking even if she is crying. Crying because she is mad will not hurt her or I.

All that being said remember your tot is not a baby nor a kid. Some where stuck in the middle so know your tot and do what is best for him. Each toddler and family is different so nothing is a one size fits all or even most.

Good luck and remember to enjoy the time you have with you toddler soon he will be a kid.