When new parents read guidebooks about raising toddlers, they are warned that although it can be blissful, it can also be demanding. They don't get the sense of those words until they experience it firsthand. Truly, parenting toddlers can be a tricky endeavor, especially because these little ones have the energy of an Olympic athlete that you can never seem to match and a stubbornness that you don't know where it had come from. To help you on this part, here are some common toddler-parenting mistakes to stay away from.
Mistake # 1 – Inconsistency
Toddlers love consistency. They thrive on the expected and predictable. They do best when they know what's going to happen next. With this said, it is important to be consistent when raising a toddler, whether it's about mealtime, consequences for misbehavior, or parents' responses to actions. It would be much easier to train your kid to eat properly in the table if you set it in a consistent hour each day. Your toddler should also not be confused with mom and dad's different techniques. For example, if mom lets a toddler get away with dumping food on the floor, whereas dad would put him in timeout, this would send mixed messages to the child and make him confused. Talking to your partner would enable you to avoid such scenarios.
Mistake # 2 – Too Much Help
Toddlers may be small and cute, but they are not completely helpless beings. When you see your child fumbling on something that he can't figure out in the first try, don't jump too quickly to offer your help, no matter how tempting that might be. Wait for a few minutes to see if he can solve it on his own and chances are, he would be able to do so. This gives your toddler a sense of independence and competency, two values that you would want to develop in your child as early as now. Teach your kid to accept and tolerate struggle and use it to be even more motivated to accomplish the job. While he's at it, be his cheerleader and offer constant encouragement and praises.
Mistake # 3 – False Promises
Don't make promises you can't keep. Honesty is inherent in children. If you mess up with that, he would be making lies sooner than you expect. Failing the expectation of your child is also not good for his emotional health. For example, if you keep on promising to spend time with him during the weekend but you always end up bringing home extra work, that might develop low self-esteem in your child.
Mistake # 4 – Power Struggles
Toddlers like to be in control. If you don't show them authority, they would wrap you around their fingers. When toddlers throw tantrums and you give in to their whims, this would reinforce the belief that the tantrum enabled him to get what he wants. He would then keep on doing this again and again for as long as it gives him success. Even if you scold or reprimand your kid for throwing a tantrum, it would still be a sign of victory for him because he was able to get your attention. So as not to encourage power struggles, the best way to deal with this is to walk away from the situation or distract your child by putting him in a different room or area of the house.
Parenting toddlers can be a mind-blowing experience. But everytime your child would kiss you or hug you, you know that every little and big effort is worth it.