The Do’s of Parenting Toddlers {Ages 1 and 2}

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The Do's of Parenting Toddlers

With our 2 boys we’ve been told over and over again how well we have been doing with them and at first we were surprised because from our point of view, we felt totally clueless…lol!

But never the less I was and am very thankful to God for our progress. Along the way I’ve asked God for wisdom and guidance and we have a long ways to go and I’m not by any means a professional but these days we do feel less clueless and we have found things and techniques that have been working for us.

I struggled with feeling like the “strict” parent even though I sorta seen it coming by seeing how my relationship with my husband is. But I’m coming to embrace it… sorta. Everyday I ask God to relax my uptightness and balance me out and He has. I also ask Him to show me what I am not going to comprise with and He has shown me. And then there’s the areas that I’m still trying to figure out.

One thing about me is that when I see a situation, my mind quickly analyze how that is going to look a couple years from now.

Will it be cute, funny, or appropriate than? And if the answer is no than it needs to be corrected.

Now this is a good and a bad thing because you want a toddler to be a toddler but I also don’t want to raise a monster which is where my prayer for balance comes in and learning to let some things go. Now I’ve heard that is great because most people don’t think that far ahead. And it is but it’s also a major part of my anxiety.

Now on to my “techniques” or just things I do. These are not in order of importance. And mind you this is for raising a 1 and a 2 year old.

Pray Often

This is self explanatory. Parenting is hard! and scary! the thought that we’re raising little men and women can be terrorizing. To imagine making decisions on my own to raise children (however long we have them) is crazy. I pray constantly throughout the day. What worked yesterday may not work today.

Pray over your children. Pray for their covering, guidance, obedience, desire to do good, and follow God. Against the spirit of rebelliousness. That He would open their ears and to speak kind, positive and loving words.

Counting to Three with a Spin

I never really liked the idea of counting to three because if I say come here, I want you to come NOW. Not wait until I get to 2 then decide to hurry up {yes they do catch on}. So I do not always use the count to three method but if I say “come here”, he normally says “coming”{but his new response lately was “wait a minute”, yup had to nip that in the bud QUICK} and if the 2 yr old continues to do what he’s doing,  I’ll say, “come NOW”, and he comes running. Then when he gets to me I explain that when mommy says come, you come NOW. If I do decide to count, I change up the counting, “I’m counting to 2 or 1”. But because he knows I mean business if I say I’m going to count to 3 he typically runs at 1 but he still gets a stern talking to because I had to go to a warning. (This may sound inconsistent but I started to add counting because we needed to have room for him to not fail meaning there were times I called him and he was doing what daddy told him to do like throwing something away so I didn’t want him to not listen to daddy to listen to me but instead learn to communicate it by saying “coming”.)

For our 1 yr old that’s starting to feel himself… if I tell him to come or do something and he do not follow through, I go get him while saying “mommy said come here {or do _______}” and take him back to the place I called him or told him to do something like pick up something.

Extend Grace

It’s easy to want our children to be obedient 100% of the time but I’m pretty sure God would love that from us as well. As I discipline and instruct these little ones, the Holy Spirit nudges me and reminds me to extend grace to them like God does us all the time. Ask for guidance on what to “let go”. Some things require consequences but some things can just be addressed and let go.

Ignore Tantrums to a Degree

No mom like tantrums. The last thing I want to see is my toddler laid out on the floor because he didn’t get his way. Now we’ve had advice on ignoring tantrums but I can only turn away for so long to certain things and our method has been working for us. I allow them to go threw their emotions but with rules. Depending on what it is no tantrum is allowed. I want then to be able express themselves so if something is making them angry or sad than I allow them to get it out a little but want them to learn to control their behavior. But if we consider it really petty like a sip of a drink, or a piece of candy then no tantrums allowed, learn to say “ok” and move on.

– No screaming! Our 2 yr old really do not scream cry as much but a stern warning or “HEY!” normally do the job.

– No falling to the floor Again mainly for the 2 yr old. He can cry but no falling to the floor. Soon as he drop, it’s “stand up” or if he looks like he’s about to drop, it’s “you bet not”. I never liked the “spoiled brat” behavior.

Our 1 yr old has started “tantrums” {smh… yes} where he falls to the floor and looks like a seal and his new thing is backwards crawling {I laughed when I first seen it and still do sometimes}. I typically ignore his fall outs, unless it’s directly in front of me. Then I’ll say “stand up, no falling to the floor” then he drunkenly stand up crying. Then I move on and let him cry it out until he get himself together. If he’s crying to long {then look at the next one}.

-No prolonged crying No drawn out crying. You decide how long he should be crying about something. If we’re home then I let him know that he needs to calm down and sometimes I will say “your doing to much and it’s time to get it together” meaning he stops crying, wipes his tears and move on. If he’s not calming down then he has to go to his room and lay down {lights on or off – not used to scare them. If there afraid of the dark I wouldn’t say cut off the lights, we’re not trying to torture them}. If we’re out than he needs to stop or no _____, or do I need to take you to the bathroom or whatever method you use while out. But because he knows to stop at home than when we say “enough” out he knows to listen {so far}.

With our 1 yr old, he has learned that as well {so far}. So we normally say “enough”, or “stop crying” or “no crying” all three work at different times.

-Not in my way no tantrums standing in the kitchen while I’m cooking, or near my desk while I’m working or just in my space, go in the living room or anywhere else and get it out. I’m not mean but I’m also not phased by tantrums so I typically go “awe your sad, ok go stand over there”.

All of this may sound like a lot but once you do them its no thought and the children know what to expect. We very seldom have to put our 2 yr old in the room to calm down because most of the time he’ll get himself together and come to say “I feel better mommy/daddy”. And we very seldom, have to tell him to stand up, because if he did fall often by time I look at him I catch him standing back up or he stops before he do it.

Quiet Time!

Don’t mind if I do! Smile In the beginning, when they first came we started to attempt nap time for the 2 yr because our {at the time} 9month old was taking 2 naps. But the 2 yr old just would not sleep. Then we stop putting him in the room. But then I read some where about quiet time and thought that was a good idea. But that also was not easy. I’ll do a separate post on quiet time but just know, make sure they {YOU} get it, whether they go to sleep or not.

Tell, Not Ask

Give instructions. I hear some moms say “do you want to take a nap?” or “do you want to take a bath?” or other questions that when I ask do they have a choice the answer is no. My husband used to do that a lot but quickly found that he was put in a corner real quick when our 2 yr old responded “no” to “it’s happening” questions. Give instructions and move on. “Go put on your clothes, go put on your shoes, go take off clothes for bath time, go sit at the table”.

Follow Through and Be Consistent

Be aware of when your being side tracked. If your telling your 2 yr old good night and he’s like “I hurt my leg mommy”, the first night you might want to check but then he start saying random things like “brush Chloe{the dog} teeth”, he’s just prolonging the process, CUT HIM OFF.

Be Encouraged!

Like I said in the beginning. Parenting is hard! But know that God is there and available. Seek His guidance and know that it’s not about perfection but the heart. Where is your heart? Let God take care of the results. What we want to teach them and how we teach them may not always be inline but trust God to get and keep them on track.

6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6

What are some of your Do’s for parenting your toddlers?