November 16, 2021

Parenting Tips When You Have Toddlers

Toddlers are infamous for being strong-willed, highly emotional and persistent. They’re in constant motion. They’re curious, so they want to touch everything and put things in their mouth, whether it’s food or not. They’ll repeat things they hear, even the things they shouldn’t. And despite their clumsiness at this stage of developing their motor skills, they’ll run, climb and jump without fear.

Toddlers may be small, but they are a rollercoaster of motions and emotions, which can test anyone’s patience. And because they’re just learning to talk, it can be even more frustrating for the two of you to communicate.

No matter how “typical” people say certain toddler behaviors are, the reality is you weren’t born knowing how to parent a toddler. It’s something each parent learns—from others or by trial and error. Here are some of our favorite helpful parenting tips if you have a toddler:

Childproof Your Home.

As clean and safe as you may feel your home already is, you may not recognize specific dangers lurking in your house that could lead to poisoning, burns, falls and other accidents. Our best advice for toddler-proofing your home is to get down to their level, literally. This means getting on all-fours and crawling to see how your home looks from a toddler’s perspective. It may surprise you how many hazards are within a child’s reach from that level.

Lead by Example and Praise Good Behavior.

Your toddler watches you all the time, and they will take your lead. When you’ve done a good job finishing a chore or task, praise yourself in front of your child. And when they pick up their toys, show that you’ve been paying attention and appreciate their efforts. Everyone in the family can join in so that your toddler knows how good behavior is rewarded and is motivated to do more of the same.

Let the Little Things Go.

Your baby may be having a tantrum because they’re hungry, sleepy or feeling sick. This is the time to act. But some attention-seeking behaviors, such as whining and tantrums, are best left alone. You may think ignoring it teaches your child to keep acting this way because you allow it to happen. Actually, doing nothing tells your toddler that their behavior doesn’t get them what they want, whether it’s attention or the item they’re whining about.

Once you know whether your baby is safe and fussy or sick and fussy, you can decide how best to respond.

If you feel you can’t safely or effectively parent your toddler, we have classes that can help. Nurturing Parenting Classes are now available at Communicare in Calhoun, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Tate and Yalobusha Counties. Email us at parenting@oxfordcommunicare.com to see when our next classes start.

If you have an emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room or call 1-866-837-7521 to be connected to Communicare’s mobile crisis team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.