(my toddler to be exact)
- Sleep is a powerful asset. If he doesn’t sleep well at night, you are in for a rough day. If he skips his naps, you better have him outside and distracted so he is somewhat happy.
- SNACKS! Snacks are incredibly important, if you thought that you got hangry, just wait till you meet a tired, hungry toddler who can’t use their words so they scream and cry and are too worked up to even eat something. There is no reasoning with them!
- Distraction! When they are doing something that you really don’t want them to do, you tell them to stop, right? But, when they just aren’t listening that is when you remove them from what they are doing and distract them with something else. That’s what I do anyway!
- Car rides! A car ride is always a sure way to get my little guy to fall asleep. Sure it sucks up gas, but I would rather have a sleeping, peaceful, quiet baby than a angry loud crying baby. And when he wakes up he will be happy! and hungry, so have snacks ready!
- Playgrounds! Especially with swings available, playgrounds can be a huge help! He gets to people watch, swing, slide and play in the sand and get really dirty. All his favorite things.
- Music/Noise! Putting on some soothing reggae helps to calm everyone down, we can bang on tins, pots and pans to the rhythm and have all smiles.
- Animals! Animals are a huge help, we don’t have any, but its always fun to see dogs and cats and the ones that allow us to pet them are even better!
- Wide Open Spaces! So the little guy can walk around and tumble and roll where ever he wants to go. He loves sand and dirt and mud, not so much grass though.
- Trucks and toys, anything that rolls! Rolls, makes noise, is different.. these all keep his attention for a short amount of time.
- I can’t believe it took me this long, but CAFFEINE is a MUST! Or at least tons and tons of energy to keep up with the little guy.
- Strength! Because my little guy hates to have his diaper changed, if he doesn’t want to lay down, he will do everything in his power to twist and turn. No matter what kind of distraction you have placed in front of him, he will find a way to wiggle his way out. They he runs away naked and I can’t help but laugh in exasperation.
- PATIENCE! Every parent needs an extra dose of patience with little nuggets. They will test your patience, your wits, your sanity just to see what they can get away with. Worst part, they aren’t even fully aware of what they are doing. They are just learning. So you can’t get mad. (that mad)
- LOVE! It’s not that hard to show your love, even though one moment your toddler can be a complete brat and the next they are running into your arms for a hug and kiss. It just melts my heart when he does this.
- UNDERSTANDING! You need to have understanding and empathy, because some things are scary to little toddlers, when you know that it shouldn’t be, but they are experiencing new things for the first time.. they will get scared, you need to be there to show them it is okay to be scared, but also show them that they don’t need to be scared because the cause of that loud noise was just a blender.. or a train horn, or whatever it is.
- BACK UP! Whether you need a backup babysitter in case you go bat sh*t crazy, or you need backup clothes or diapers or shoes.. you need backups for everything.. just in case!