Parenting Tips for Raising a Toddler

Parenting Tips for Raising a Toddler

Positive parenting for toddlers is a concept that every parent needs to inculcate while raising their kids. It harps on the fact that while discipline is needed, it must be enforced in a way that does not dampen their spirits or stifle their unique identity. Below, we shall see how we can go about this.

Common Mistakes Made while Parenting Toddlers

Here are the mistakes that many parents make:

1. Inconsistency

Quite often, you might be strict with their toddlers. However, on one or two occasions, you might feel that you can loosen up a bit, either because you feel you’re too strict or because your toddler has been behaving well. This is a mistake because toddlers like order. If you show inconsistency in the house rules, they will feel the need to prefer the rules that suit them.

2. Not Getting Chatty

One mistake made by parents is that they do not have enough of a conversation with their toddler. Studies have shown that talking to your toddler on a regular basis can help improve their vocabulary, brain power and language processing skills. Studies have shown that an increase in a child’s vocabulary has little to do with genetics and more to do with the level of interaction you have with them. Ensure that you are conversational so that they feel that they are being engaged and it won’t be long before they answer!

3. The Television Babysitter

A cardinal mistake made by most parents, we inevitably fall into this one because of “Kid-friendly programmes” that have been marketed by the media. Studies have shown that most toddlers don’t even understand what they are seeing on the television screen until they are about two years old. A study conducted by the American Academy of Paediatrics had a shocking revelation. From a group of 2500 children between the ages of one to three years, ten per cent developed attention disorders by age seven.

4. Giving Into Tantrums

Kids screaming at the top of their lungs in a shopping mall because you won’t buy them that toy they want? Avoid giving into their tantrums in such situations as it would make them think that anytime they need something, they need to resort to tantrums.

5. Ordering Them Around

This simple mistake is something that could make the difference between a polite toddler and an obnoxious one. Toddlers may not always appreciate a command as they may feel that they have no control. Try making requests rather than demands to get them to do what you want them to do. For example, try using “Could you please” instead of “Get that here”.

Fed-up mother with cranky toddler

Parenting Tips for Raising Toddlers

Below are some excellent for parenting tips for 2 years old

Raising a Confident Toddler

Here are some tips for parenting a strong-willed toddler

  • Avoid Comparing

This is something that many parents tend to do and inadvertently destroying the confidence of their young one. Toddlers are not at the same level of emotional maturity as adults and tend to take negative criticism personally. Comparing them to a well-behaved cousin or peer may make her feel insecure about herself.

  • Scaffolding

Scaffolding is the art of teaching anyone by being minimally intrusive yet providing the maximum help. An interesting study has shown that the there is an influential role that has to be played by an educator who acts as a playmate for the toddler. The focus should not be on instructing the toddler to perform a certain task; rather it should be focussed on providing support and being an active collaborator. This will boost her confidence and give her the motivation to pursue her own interests.

  • Give Them Responsibilities

You could try this out with small chores around the house. For instance, there may be a time where you would not be comfortable with them handling ceramic plates. Once you have that trust in them, you could say that you would like them to help set the plates on the table. This would be a huge ego boost as she would feel that she is doing something very important.

  • Provide The Tools To Succeed

Pushing your toddler too hard without providing the proper tools will lead to failure and have a negative impact on them. For example, expecting a toddler to be toilet trained on an adult toilet commode is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t rescue them and they fail, they would feel humiliated and discouraged. If you do rescue them, then they haven’t learnt anything except that they need your help. A better approach is to provide the tools (potty seat trainer) that would give them the confidence to do things on their own.

  • Choosing The Right Words

According to Doctor Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., the words used by you can make a big impact on their confidence. For example, if they are scared of water and afraid to go into the swimming pool, avoid saying something like, “Don’t be a coward, its nothing!” Instead, say something like “I know you’re afraid and that okay. You can get into the pool when you’re ready”. There is a difference as the first statement is a misrepresentation of her character whereas the second statement is an acknowledgement of her state of mind.

Confident toddler girl

Raising a Smart Toddler

Here is some parenting advice for toddlers who are going to be whiz kids in the near future:

  • Eating Fish

Known as the ultimate brain food, fish contains omega 3 fats in the form of EPA and DHA. This helps the brain as studies have shown that it has reduced issues like inattention in kids without any attention disorder and improved attention for those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

  • Classical Music

According to a study conducted by the University of London, playing the classics such as Mozart can improve intelligence. This happens as their power of concentration and self-discipline increases.

  • Abacus

This ancient calculation device has been in existence for over 800 years, being used in China, Japan, Korea and India. Unfortunately, they are seen by many as impractical devices with the advent of the pocket calculator. Studies have shown that children who had learned to use an abacus have fewer errors when solving math problems. In addition, another study showed that children who were adept at using an abacus were not only mathematical wizards but were able to switch between task s quicker.

  • Puzzles

There are numerous puzzles that are available for children, and not without good reason! Early puzzle play for a toddler can have a long-lasting effect on their ability to do spatial tasks successfully. A study conducted showed that those children who played with puzzles were able to complete a spatial task with 2d shapes at a faster pace than those who did not. Those who played quality puzzles and with increased frequency were more likely to solve the task. An interesting observation was that the parents who regularly engage their children during puzzle play also had a big impact on the toddler’s ability to solve the task.

  • Phonics

Wouldn’t it be great if your toddler could read English words quickly and fluently? Yes, it’s possible! Phonics is a language teaching method that shows the relationship between letters and sounds. According to a research paper by the University of London, this method has improved reading comprehension in children significantly and is the best way to learn a language.

  • Reading

This might come as a surprise, but your toddler’s brain is capable of surprising you every day. Though it may seem as though even a five-year-old may have difficulty forming words, a study conducted by Washington University showed that the rules of language could be understood in children as old as three. So, make sure you read out to your children and get them involved whenever you get the chance. Though it may seem like an exhausting option for some parents after a hard day of work, the payoff is worth the effort. If story time is difficult, childhood literacy expert, Dr J. Richard Gentry suggests that you interact with your toddler by repeatedly reading labels and other printed words.

Smart toddlers

Raising a Difficult Toddler

Here are some hacks for parenting 2-year-old tantrum:

  • Minimise Frustrations

As frustrations are the root cause of any tantrum, try avoiding a situation where you know that a tantrum is likely to start. An example would be avoiding the toy shop on the way to grandma’s house by taking another route.

  • Say Yes

Saying no all the time can increase the chances of your child becoming difficult and throwing a tantrum as it puts her on the defensive. Instead, say yes but by putting conditions. For example, when she says, “Can I have a cookie?”. Instead of saying no, say, “Yes! Let’s have one together after dessert”.

  • Distraction

Toddlers are easily distracted, and this is one trick that you can use to your advantage. When you know a tantrum is around the corner, have an exotic coin or exciting toy in your pocket. The moment they let loose, use this trick. You might be so successful where they actually forget why they had a tantrum in the first place!

  • Disengage

Once your toddler has decided to throw a tantrum, there will be no reasoning with her as she will not be ready to listen to logic or your arguments. The best course of action is to limit your interaction with her until the tantrum passes. Make sure she is in a safe environment and don’t give her the satisfaction of being an audience as it will only encourage her.

  • Leave The Location

A tantrum is thrown in public is one of the biggest nightmares that a parent can have. Thankfully, there is a solution that is guaranteed to work. Just leave the premises immediately. This may seem like overkill to some but is effective as it makes two things clear: you are in charge and that making a scene in public is unacceptable.

  • Body Language

For those that are still lagging behind in speech development, they overly rely on looking at bodily cues to ascertain your mood. A defensive or aggressive body posture may make them even more hostile. Try adopting an open but no-nonsense type of body posture. For example, if they throw a tantrum, wagging your fingers, walking off in a huff and being cold to them throughout the day is not the best approach. Instead, ignore their tantrums and move to another room. Don’t be cold to them if they come back feeling apologetic. Reinforce the idea that you are allowing them to make the mistake of throwing a tantrum but not validating the tantrum itself.

Aggressive toddler

Raising a Caring Toddler

Here is how to raise a toddler who is caring:

  • Be The Change

Toddlers carefully observe their environment, and you can be certain that they are watching you behave. You can’t expect them to say “thank you” or “your welcome” when you are yourself not saying it. Make sure that the interactions that you have with them are polite in their tone. Never miss an opportunity to display signs of a well-mannered person. This could be offering your seat to an older person in the bus or not littering on the streets. Even the most insignificant act of giving food to a hungry child can make an impression in the mind of your toddler for years to come.

  • Encourage Interactions

Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology, suggests that toddlers can only learn to care once they have hands-on experience. For example, a toddler may see a kitten but not know how to interact with it. This can be dangerous for the kitten, as your child may not know how to hold the fragile creature and may even cause harm. However, by supervising a caring interaction, your toddler can learn and become a more caring person.

  • Keep Your Cool

Child expert Dr Tovah Klein says that children are always watching you and learning. How you behave with them during difficult times can leave an impression on them and can become the blueprint for future behaviour. Even during the most difficult times, when they have tested your patience to the limit, avoid berating them. This will be a life lesson for them, and they will try to emulate your model of kindness.

Raising a Well-Behaved Toddler

Here are some parenting skills for toddlers who are well-mannered:

  • Strong House Rules

Toddlers see everything in black and white, so there is a need to be a strict disciplinarian at home. This doesn’t mean you must be rude or obnoxious towards them, it simply means that there should be clarity on what can be done and what can’t be done. These can be simple things like setting up the table and always saying thank you when they receive something. Avoid using negative language and instead, use positive language when setting up the rules. For example, ‘no littering’ can be rephrased as ‘throw crumpled paper into the dustbin’. While the former is vague, the latter provides clarity on how to go about things.

  • Be Loving

Being a parent isn’t just about wagging your finger and nodding your head in disappointment. Make sure that you show loads of affection whenever you get the chance. Sometimes a toddler may act out because they feel unloved or rejected because you aren’t giving them enough love.

  • Sleep

Toddlers can get cranky when they don’t get enough sleep, and they won’t be afraid to show it. This isn’t a behavioural problem, and any toddler would do the same. Make sure that they get at least 11 hours of sleep. An afternoon nap is something that can significantly reduce crankiness so make sure this happens.

  • Coordination

Have you employed a nanny who is there to watch over your toddler when you go for work? Has your mother or mother-in-law been gracious enough to give a helping hand so that you can work or rest? Talk to them to identify any behavioural issues that your toddler may have and find solutions.

  • Teach Sharing

Toddlers are at that stage in life where they begin to understand the concept of possession but may take it a little overboard. To avoid hearing them scream ‘MINE!’, try inculcating a habit a sharing. Apart from this, encourage her each time she willingly decides to give a toy to another toddler who is visiting home. Make sure that you ensure the safety of your toddler’s possessions because if she senses they are not safe, she may be hesitant to give them to someone else.

Happy toddler

Raising Twin Toddlers

Here is parenting advise for toddlers who come in twos:

  • Avoid Taking Them for Errands

Handling twins is twice the work because, well, twice the kids. We all have that electricity bill that has to be paid or that insurance policy that needs renewal. These activities can sometimes be frustrating and getting both the twins along would only lead to pandemonium. Unless, it’s a situation where you have no option but to take them, try postponing any engagement until you find someone who can watch them. Also, don’t take just one of the twins as the one who is left back may feel as though you don’t love her.

  • Double-Check Your Child Proofing

Your kids will surprise you with their level of ingenuity when they hit that 1-3 year mark. This is why anyone who is a parent will always tell you that you need to baby proof the house. An exposed sharp edge of a low table or an unlocked kitchen cabinet are places where your kids can get hurt. When it comes to twins, you need to up your game in terms of putting safeguards against any possible accidents. Twins will often work together to attain a common goal. There are instances where one twin will stand on top of the other to get the cookie jar.

  • Synchronised Schedules

Doing the same job twice? This can lead to confusion as one activity may be finished quicker than the other. For instance, if you give one of them a bath while the other goes potty, the twin who finishes last will need extra attention. This incentivises them to prolong an activity so that you spend more time with them. Try doing the similar chores simultaneously such as giving them a bath together and see how quickly things get completed.

Toddler twins

  • Same Yet Different

Twins looks the same, and many people erroneously believe that they will function the same way. While one may be creative, the other may be a problem-solver. Spot who does what and make sure you let them diversify into what they are good at. For example, if one of them takes an interest in colouring, let her do that. Don’t force the other twin to do the same. This is because it will start becoming a comparison game and might lead to self-esteem issues for the weaker twin in the future.

  • Doubles of Everything

This is one of the hardest decision that the parents of twins can make. Buying double of everything may make you feel that it’s a concept where financial prudence has been thrown out the window. However, the advantages outweigh the financial factor. Firstly, doubles of items like bottles, potties, plates etc. can dramatically increase your efficiency when it comes to scheduling. Secondly, the financial impact can sometimes be overstated. Many programmes like swimming lessons or clothes have discounts when got in multiples, so things aren’t as bad as they look.

This is all there is to know. Make sure you follow the above-mentioned positive parenting techniques on an everyday basis.

Also Read: Characteristics of Authoritarian Parenting