Danni, almost two, is building block towers when her seven-thirty bedtime is announced. “Want to go up to bed?” her dad asks. “No way!” Danni replies loudly.
Recognize that scenario? While you might be attempting to soften a request with “do you want” you’re actually offering a choice where there is none. It’s bound to end in frustration for your toddler. If you mean it’s time to go to bed, it’s better to say it clearly.
At the same time, kids like to have a say in their lives, so let them choose on small issues that aren’t about the rules (“It’s time for lunch. Do you want a sandwich or soup?”). But be careful not to overwhelm your toddler with too many options or incessant decisions. They like to keep it simple. Discover more strategies for managing toddler behaviour.
Even if you loved your job before, having a baby often reshuffles career priorities. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, suddenly your number one goal is cutting back on your work hours to focus more on family. Is it possible to find a job that’s challenging and rewarding, but still lets you put family first? And — even better — could your current job offer the flexibility you’re looking for?
What an imagination
With your help, your toddler might be ready for some very simple make-believe:
• Animal show: Down on your knees! Be doggies together, or cats, or bears, or snakes. Bark, wriggle and hiss together.
• You’ve got mail: Don’t throw out that annoying junk mail — that’s for your toddler! Open your mail together. Ask her what she got — a letter? Bills?
• Store: When she’s ready for a more complicated game, set out some “toddler-friendly” groceries — canned soup, pasta, grapefruits — and dig the play money out of an old board game. A little shopping cart or wagon adds to the fun.
It’s getting hot in here
Childhood fevers are as common as mosquitoes in May, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy for toddlers — or their parents — to bear. Get the facts on fevers.
Most toddlers thrive on repetition, whether it be a certain book or two, a particular video, a game or an outfit. This passion for repetition is important to toddlers. They repeat behaviour and actions in order to perfect a skill. So if you can stand to read that tattered old story one more time, go for it.