Parenting a Toddler: Making Them Independent vs Their Safety and Health
Parenting a toddler has its own challenges and dynamics. On one hand, where your child is all set to explore the world around her and on the other hand, you are not able to understand the right balance between giving Independence and ensuring her safety and health. This issue is one that doesn’t go away as your child gets older, but continue to emerge.
As a parent, we all would agree that our child should learn from an early age that we are their best advocate and cheerleader. At the same time, it’s our job to keep them safe and healthy by setting reasonable limits.
Kids need appropriate limits but it’s how we do it that counts: Research shows that children develop optimally when we set limits as necessary, but do so with empathy. Empathy makes your limit more palatable to your child; so she does not resist it as much. That what allows her to internalized it.
“Children need models rather than critics” – Joseph Robert
Your bonding with your child goes a long way: It’s easy for parents to identify their child’s physical needs: nutritious foods, warm clothes, bedtimes. However, a child’s mental and emotional need may not be as obvious. Children misbehave when they feel bad about themselves and disconnected from us. It is a well-known fact that children learn best when they feel heard and valued.
“A child is an uncut diamond” – Austin O’Malley
Give them an opportunity to learn from their mistakes: Overprotective parenting has become a lifestyle for many families. But kids also need to experience the world first hand in order to learn and grow. When children are given the opportunity to struggle and sometimes fail, you allow them to develop important social and emotional skills. Of course, you should not risk safety and not respond when what is needed most is a reassurance. However, your role should be to support and guide, rather than to do for them what they need to learn to do for themselves.
“Do not handicap your children by making their life easy” – Robert A Heinlein
Each and every child is unique and different: Yes, every child is different. Children develop differently, have different personalities, poses different strengths and required a different kind of support to meet their individual needs. Adaptability and flexibility are the key ingredients to parenting.
“Teach your children they are unique. That’s why they wouldn’t feel pressurized to be like everybody else” – Cindy
Remember, our job as a parent is not just to protect our kids. It is also to prepare them for life.
I would like to conclude this article with one of my all time favourite quote:
“The greatest gift you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of Independence” – Denis Waitely
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