Five Tips for Patient Parenting
The toddler years can be challenging for parents. Frequent tantrums, testing of limits and constant questions can wear on the patience of even the most relaxed individuals. Finding ways to manage stress during these early years can help parents stay calm under pressure to present the best possible example for their toddlers. Here are five tips for patient parenting from the early childhood experts at Discovery Point.
Plan a Little Time Away
Taking a few steps back from the parenting process to unwind and spend time on activities you enjoy can help you gain valuable perspective when caring for young children. An evening out with your spouse or significant other can put a little romance back into your weekly or monthly routine. Curling up with a good book or a favorite movie can provide a welcome retreat from parenting chores during naptime. By planning a few treats for yourself, you can achieve greater patience when spending time with your toddler.
Put Yourself in Your Child’s Shoes
Looking at situations from your child’s perspective can sometimes provide added insights into behaviors and reactions. That cookie may not mean much to you; to your child, however, it may represent a combination of comfort, parental approval and personal satisfaction. By considering the emotional context for various behaviors, you can often address these issues more effectively and can develop empathy that can bring you and your child closer together now and in the future.
Offer Choices, Not Ultimatums
Rather than issuing commands to your two or three-year-old child, consider giving them a few options from which to choose when possible:
- Offering two or three outfit choices can not only reduce outbursts from your toddler but can be the first step toward the development of his or her own personal style.
- Allowing your child to decide between a few meal or snack choices can reduce resistance to new foods and to mealtimes in general.
- Providing your child with story options at bedtime can ensure that he or she feels more in control of the entire process.
Adopting a more flexible approach to playtime, mealtimes and bedtime can help you reduce the stress associated with the toddler years while allowing your child to develop added independence in their everyday life.
Choose Your Battles Wisely
A few simple house rules can provide much needed structure for toddlers without the stress associated with micromanagement during these early years. Offering your child solid guidelines and enforcing them fairly can provide your toddler with a sense of what is expected in your home. By not sweating the small stuff, you can focus on the issues that really matter. This can help your child live up to your expectations more effectively and can increase the positive interactions inside your home.
Learn to Laugh Together
Fun and laughter can help you bond with your preschool-aged child and can create the sense that you are in it together as a family. This can lower the chances of tantrums and outbursts while relieving stress and helping you stay patient and centered throughout your interactions with your child. Sharing a joke, a silly game or a favorite cartoon can be an ideal way to share a few laughs with your toddler every day.
The educational team at Discovery Point can provide your child with a loving and safe environment in which he or she can explore new concepts and ideas safely. By entrusting your child to us, you can enjoy greater peace of mind when managing other activities as part of your daily routine. This can make you a more relaxed and patient parent during the hours spent with your preschool-aged child.