Hello, everyone! Well, Emma, my baby, is almost 15 months, and she has definitely hit the toddler stage. Suddenly she is getting into everything, babbling about everything, routine bound, stubborn, opinionated, and dramatic. She dances and claps when she is happy. She cries and throws herself to the ground when she is sad. She runs across the house when Dad or big brother comes home to greet them.
I remember when my oldest son hit this stage, I was both amazed and bemused. Where did that helpless babe in arms go? Who was this little person that had just entered our world? And what was I supposed to do with him? This is my third time around the toddler adventure, and I feel a bit more well equipped to know what I am doing (it is so much easier to post about this than the 6 yr old stage, which is all new to me). So I thought I would share a little of what I have learned, and am being reminded of, right now.
I thought I would write a few posts about Toddlers, this month, as I know February and March can be a tough time to be stuck in the house with a toddler.
I think one of the hardest changes at this stage, if you have been following an attachment style of parenting, is beginning to say "no". After all, you have spent time training yourself to tune into your baby and listen to their wisdom about their body and needs. But now things are changing. Toddlers are still aware of their needs, and they will often try to tell you when they are hungry, wet, tired, or bored, but they are also moving into a stage of testing and exploring. They are looking for you to teach them what is safe, what is okay to play with, what they should and should not do and where they can and can not go. The trust you have been building up with your child to this point will help them to listen to you. But that trust must change. Your job will become not just need-fulfiller, but increasingly safety patrol, reffaree, boundary setter and redirector.
Parenting a toddler requires switching gears and parenting methods, while still maintaining an underlying foundation of love, trust and guidance. I am going to start by talking about keeping toddlers busy in the winter, since they are so full of energy and get pretty cooped up by this time of the year (especially if they are old enough that they have been exploring the house since November).
While I start there, if you are new to parenting this age group, what questions do you have about toddlers? If you've been-there-done-that, what do you think are some of the most important things to remember while parenting a toddler?