The previous Great NEWS post shared Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 7 – Infant Parenting Challenges and today we continue the series with Part 8 – Toddler Challenges. Parenting toddlers requires a new set of guidelines to help parents deal with a wide range of new behaviors and situations. Parents often need help with the strain and stress associated with toddlers and that period referred to as the “terrible twos” which can really be the “terrific twos” with a little guidance. Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems – Part 8 will offer simple steps to support parents with toddlers.
As previously mentioned it is essential for both parents to work together as a terrific team when dealing with a toddler. Single moms face major obstacles when raising a toddler by themselves and will need extra support from family and friends. Parenting is a big responsibility and requires the parents to have a strong support network to help with a toddler.
How you parent a toddler is key to the future of your child becoming an adult. Everything you do or do not do lays the foundation for the rest of their life. By the time a child is seven years old the majority of their personality, traits and values will be firmly established for life. Therefore it it essential you parent with great care, insight and wisdom. These days it is easier than ever before to find great guidance, role models and support to assist you. When parents stop making the misguided mistakes and start making better choices their life and that of their children will be much easier.
Toddlers are extremely active, demanding and inquisitive which requires the parents to step up their game and parenting skills. The situations are changing so rapidly with toddlers that parents can begin to feel overloaded and overwhelmed. That is the time to find new resources, skills and support to guide you to an easier path.
Toddler Parenting Challenges
Using your common sense, gut instinct and a happy heart will go a long way toward helping you be a great parent. Getting great coaching and learning from the best resources will also help you avoid many of the pitfalls and stumbling blocks that negatively impact parents and toddlers. Why recreate the wheel when you can access master minds to mentor you.
Once a child starts crawling and then walking their world becomes a giant playground full of wonder and worries for parents. This is when the child starts to create, design and manipulate their master blueprint and operating system for the rest of their life. Parents can be reactive or proactive and learn to anticipate and understand what is really going on in the toddlers head. It is the art and science of parenting and not rocket science after all.
It is during the key first seven years of a child’s life that the hardware, operating system and soft ware are developing the fastest which will set the programming which will control the vast majority of their behaviors, habits and routines for life. Therefore during each phase of these first seven years it is critical for the parents to invest all the energy, love, time and understanding necessary to help insure their children will be happy, healthy and well adjusted for life.
My personal experience and those shared by many other parents reinforces the belief that how things go along each phase of development sets the standard and structure for all the years ahead. Parents and their children will benefit immensely from making better choices and wiser decisions early on rather than trying to learn the hard way and then attempt to correct or fix gaps and glitches they created from a lack of good ground rules and great guidance.
Many parents are creating the majority of their parenting issues. It is not the toddler that is the problem. It is the problem adult who has not learned to discipline themselves and resolved their own issues that creates the disagreements, disasters and drama. Unresolved negative emotions like anger, fear, guilt, hurt, low self worth, resentment and sadness cause parents to behave like children. When the parent is unresourceful than the toddler models that behavior and reflects a mirror back to the parent which the parent often has a big challenge dealing with.
When parents learn how important it is for them to be super stars and stellar role models for their toddlers the whole world of raising toddlers becomes much easier. The old saying of “walk the talk” is paramount to parents raising toddlers. Toddlers reflect back to parents what they feel, hear and see from the family, friends and parents Even restaurants, signs, stores, TV and more play a key role so consider our environment. It is essential to guard the influences your children are exposed to from others and other sources.
Toddlers are like little mina birds, monkeys and parrots and play back what they learn each day. When your toddler shares a new behavior or archetype begin to ask yourself where did this come from? When you ask what, where or who taught this to my toddler you will be on the path to peak parenting. The vast majority of what toddlers do is learned behavior so find out who is training your child.
Bed time can be a big issue with toddlers. Too many times the parents are the cause of the issue. A normal bedtime of 20:00 to 21:00 on a routine basis helps the parents and toddler maintain a healthy sleep cycle. When parents learn to settle and wind down for sleep early it sets the stage for more happiness and harmony in the home. Quality sleep is essential for parents and toddlers alike. When parents or toddlers stay up late they are setting themselves up for behavior issues the next day. Remember what Ben Franklin said: “Early to bed and early to rise makes us healthy, wealthy and wise”. Sleep is one of the biggest issues for adults and children alike and has suffered since the introduction of modern conveniences like computers, lights and televisions.
It is important to set a good schedule for a toddler in order to establish great behaviors, habits and routines that will help keep the entire family happy and healthy. When parents or toddlers are tired it is easier for them to be grumpy, irritable and upset. We all have a circadian rhythm which impacts every aspect of our life. When adults and children are out of sync with this rhythm life can be most difficult and discouraging. When we are in sync with our biorhythms life ebbs and flows much easier.
When you lean about Ayurveda and your dosha you will better understand your body traits and type and that of your toddler. Our emotional, mental and physical disposition is established at birth and understanding our dosha will provide powerful insights into what drivers influence your life style.
As toddlers begin to explore their world more it is vital to look around for potential harm and risk factors. Items such as cables, cords, electric outlets, glass, moving parts or sharp objects create a major potential risk to toddlers. Parents must look at the home and environment with a fresh set of eyes to see what potential risks could affect their toddler. Yelling at a toddler not to play or pull on something shows a clear lack of understanding about what being a toddler is all about. Get smart and anticipate the risks so you can eliminate as many of them as possible.
It is totally OK and smart for the parents to give guidelines and set standards for clothes, gifts and toys to family and friends. When you are very specific and let people know what is or is not acceptable you make it easier for them and you. Remind them of how inconvenient it is to return items and the time wasted standing in lines. Remember to do yourself and family a favor by giving them a checklist of specific items needed or request gift cards. Spoiling toddlers with too many gadgets and toys also creates more work and worries for the parents.
Because food and products come from around the world today it is imperative for parents to do their due diligence on the contents and materials in products. Clothing, food and toys for toddlers may contain harmful compounds so “caveat emptor” means “buyer beware”. Parents must be cautious what items they allow in the home before the toddler comes in contact with them. A toddler’s life could be in jeopardy from an item someone purchases. Every year toddlers are injured by what appears to be normal items. What is more frightening is the hidden dangers in foods, paints, plastics, products and toys that can harm or kill them.
Because toddlers love to copy others they are susceptible to burns from baths, coffee, foods, grills, heaters, stoves and other risks. Learn how to childproof bathrooms, cabinets, cars, counters, doors, drawers, lamps, tables and yards. One big slip up is all it takes for harm to come to your child followed by a big doctors bill and major guilt trip.
Toddlers need extra caution when playing and walking. It is easy for a toddler to be injured by an adult that is not aware and careful. Every year arms are pulled out of sockets and bones are broken from grabbing them wrong or playing rough. Toddlers need helmets when on bicycles, running strollers and tricycles.
Many toddlers are affected by exposure to bacteria, fungal and viral pathogens in normal life. Rather than trying to protect them from all exposure it is better to be reasonably safe and to build their immune systems. Trying to avoid all exposure may actually prevent their immune system from fully developing and cause issues later in life. Healthy bacteria, enzymes, minerals, probiotics, phyto-nutrients trace elements and vitamins are essential for health so find a great source.
Avoid the temptation to feed toddlers the fake foods, fast foods, jnk foods and processed foods you see advertised at stores and on TV. The additives, colorings, preservatives and sugars can rob toddlers of their health and vitality.
How you talk to each other and to your toddler will set the framework for how easy and happy you will be raising your children. When parents talk to each other, family and friends with common courtesy, joy, love and respect they are setting up the rules to win. This will help set the stage for how your children talk to others for life. If you are abusive, angry, mean or upset with a toddler you begin imprinting them with negative emotions and self worth issues. When you speak in a calm, loving and reassuring tone you will better maintain your composure and competence for better parenting. Screaming, shouting or yelling at toddlers only makes things worse and teaches them to do the same.
Toddlers are a direct reflection of the environment the parents create around them. Invest the time to review the situations and surroundings that impact you and your toddler to determine how well you are doing. We are all a direct reflection of our ecology, eco system and environment so choose well.
When toddlers ask questions they are genuinely eager to engage in conversation and learn. Even the proverbial “why” is a sign of infinite curiosity. They also want your attention and deserve it. Give them direct, honest, open and safe answers and responses to any and all conversations and questions. Telling lies teaches them to do the same.
The health and welfare of your toddler is a top priority. There are many decisions you will face regarding the medications, medical treatment and vaccinations offered to your toddler. After you have done your homework you will likely find there is considerable confusion and controversy revolving around the medical establishment’s guidelines for treatments and vaccinations recommended for toddlers. There are risks and side effects from all over the counter medicines, prescription medicines and vaccinations. You owe it to your child and yourself to become better educated now before you make a decision with adverse consequences and reactions.
It is worth repeating that all dental and medical procedures, over the counter medicines, prescription medications and vaccinations have a high degree of risk and harmful side effects that can affect your health and that of your toddlers. Be your own devils advocate and question everything that has to do with modern medical protocols. If you are not your own guardian angel who will be?
Now is a great time to audit and review your entire house for your body care products, cleaning products and foods for any harmful chemicals or compounds that could harm you or a toddler. Most homes have many sources of harmufl and toxic items which could lead to a call to and “ER room” or “Poison Control”.
Most processed foods today are loaded with harmful substances such as artificial: additives, coloring’s, dyes, flavorings, preservatives, synthetic compounds and synthetic vitamins. A parent must be very diligent before buying any product and read the ingredients. After you bring it home it is hard to protect you and your toddler’s health.
Toddlers need the optimal quality and quantity of nutrient dense organic whole foods for rapid mental and physical development and growth. This means avoiding the mass advertising hype regarding beverages and foods. Avoid the cereals, juices, instant meals and processed foods to give your toddler the very best food choices a person can source. It is essential to understand the basics of health and nutrition to insure the best chance for longer term well being. This can take someone years to figure out so find a great resource to help you.
Many foods today contain artificial and synthetic compounds and ingredients that can have harmful effects. Avoid the abundance of canola, corn, soy and sugar based foods that may contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Most non organic foods today contain herbicides, insecticides and pesticides. Many doctors and scientists believe that excess simple carbohydrates and sugars are causing children to become addicted to sugar which will lead to health and weight issues later in life.
We are being exposed to a wide range of synthetic antibiotics, chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides and other toxins in our air, land and waters. These compounds are io our environment and food supply so we must be diligent to avoid as many as possible. Children around the world are being exposed to thousands of harmful chemicals every day.
Toddlers are at an increased risk from accidents, animals, chemicals, insects and toxins so diligence is required. Common sense and good judgment should prevail so check your surroundings regularly for potential problems and risks.
Parents and toddlers need high quality food with the enzymes, essential fats, minerals, phyto-nutrients, trace elements and vitamins necessary for the body and mind to fully develop and maintain health. Avoid the many temptations to buy Standard American Diet (SAD) stuff and waste money. Instead invest in the best nutrient dense organic whole foods available for optimal health and happiness. Many if not most behavior problems in toddlers is related to beverages and foods consumed. Additives, caffeine, colorings and sugar are a parents and toddlers worst nightmare.
Mothers and fathers both must focus on giving a toddler the attention, nurturing and time they need to develop to their full potential. It is essential to provide the best care possible from all sources. This requires great skills, strategies, structure and support systems to insure the toddler receives the great care it deserves and needs.
The committed involvement of both parents is key for peak parenting and creating a happy, healthy and harmonious environment. The family and extended family is essential to the growth, development and well being of a toddler so be sure to create a mastery action plan for all aspects of your child’s daily routine and life.
When parents stop mismanaging their energy and time with the many distractions from a high quality life they can learn the best techniques, tips and tools for being great parents. Investing quality time each day to play and read out loud with your toddler will pay back massive dividends for you and them. You only have a few years to help establish their programming and psychology in order to be safer, smarter and special beings so invest wisely.
Great books, videos and websites are available on these topics to help you reduce the trial and error portion of parenting. Today we have more great resources and role models to help you deal more effectively and efficiently as a parent.
This Great NEWS post offers Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems by sharing simple strategies and suggestions. Peak parenting is an art and a science that requires commitment and creativity. With clear outcomes and mastery action plans any parent can minimize the challenges and maximize the chances for peak parenting. This post on Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 8 is designed to help parents sail through the toddler years while having more family fun.
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Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Parenting Principles for Preventing Problems Part 9:
Preschool Parenting Challenges