Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, September 2, 2016

How To Survive Toddlers

My daughter is approaching age two and we're experiencing all the fun things like everything being colored on, negotiating everything, constant messes, feeling like you don't have a life because no one wants to be around them, etc. 

It's going to be hard no matter what, but here are some things that might help.

1.  Don't tell yourself, "That Sharpie is fine being right there within reach because she doesn't know how to take the lid off."  Eventually there is a first time.

2.  Don't tell yourself, "I can set this object on this piece of furniture because she's not tall enough to reach that."

3.  Childproof stuff long before they are able to reach something, open it, climb on it, etc.  By the time their skills increase, baby proofing is so much harder because you have to stop what you're doing repeatedly to prevent them from wreaking havoc.

4.  Train your older children. Train train train!  They have to learn how to put away crayons, markers, scissors, etc. or your place is toast!  My 8-year-old doesn't put her coloring stuff away, so we're working on this.  Our house is looking quite colorful at the moment.

5.  Stock up on magic erasers before the messes happen.  They're easier to remove right after they happen.

6.  Always have carpet cleaner.  Do you want to go to the store in the middle of the night? No.

7.  If you're dumb enough to take a toddler to a movie and they act (predictably) horrible, ask the manager for a readmission pass so you can come by yourself next time and watch something you're actually interested in.  I'm not sure if Dory ever found her parents.  Don't care.  Reality is, my kids will want the movie for Christmas or something and I'll watch it way more times than I want to anyway. 
8.  Grandma and Grandpa = sanity.  Make use of them, especially when they offer.  They still think your toddler is cute even when you don't. 

9.  When a stranger is being intolerant of your toddler's good-for-them behavior, show them their awful behavior so they can feel stupid for "helping".  For example, if your high schooler has a choir concert and your toddler is walking around making quiet happy noises and some guy walks up to you and asks if you could stop her from walking around, which you're letting her do to prevent the most awful sounds in the world, definitely pick up your toddler and allow them to scream like a banshee.  Look at the stranger like, "You're welcome jerkface.  Next time you may pay for my babysitter if it's such a problem that I'm ruining the atmosphere of the school cafeteria."

10. Snacks.  Have snacks everywhere you go.  Even if snacks aren't allowed, bring them anyway.  No one wants to listen to their tantrums.  I always feel foolish when I forget snacks and some stranger calms my child down with their snacks. 

This week has been full of mom fails.  Sharpies were involved.  Well, every writing utensil really. Have you had any toddler disasters recently? 

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