Welcome to day 2 of the Advice to the New Toddler Mommy series! Today, I'm bringing you Lindsay from Baby Mama Drama. Lindsay and I go way back - she is definitely my oldest blogging friend. Lindsay is absolutely hilarious...if you're not reading her blog, check it out for a laugh!
(I quote Madea daily and pretend I'm way more important than I really am, if you can't already tell)
I'm married to a pretty boy named Adam and slave/servant/mother to a 20 month old Drama Baby named Presley. We live in Sweet Home Alabama and I have known Leslie for many years (we went to high school together and share some HI-larious memories from dance).
Leslie asked me to be a guest host during Emma Ramey's birthday week and the topic would be "toddler parenting tips" and I was all,"YES! Pencil me in!" And then I remembered that my Drama Baby runs my life and dictates what I do, when I do it, and exactly how I do it. And if I don't do it her way she will pitch a holy terror of a fit.
Hello, Terrible Two's!
So, naturally my advice today is going to be on discipline since that's what I do best. I've heard everyone and their mothers opinion on how to discipline my child and have found what works for us may be completely different from what other people do. Every child is different when it comes to behavior so my little snippet of advice is to find what works for you and your child (wow, that's really the best I could come up with? Sorry!)
Presley is a very, very, very hard headed child. If you don't believe me then let me just inform you that as someone who only reads People & Cosmo magazine, I am instead reading The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson.
This is how we "take care of bidness" at our house and I while I know Emma Ramey will be a lovely well-behaved toddler, it never hurts to have some (more) advice :)
- Consistency is key -
Nothing is worse than being in public where a parent warns a child 67 times that they're going to get in trouble if they misbehave again. Obviously the child isn't taking you seriously because they didn't get in trouble the 2nd, 3rd, 4th....39th time they were told to stop.
- What works for you may be totally different for someone else -
For us, we use a "spanking spoon". It's wooden. It's effective. And you can get a 4-pack at the Dollar General! I wish Presley would sit in "time out" but that just doesn't work for us. If your child will stay still for more that .5 seconds then please tell me the secret!
- Praise your child -
I feel like it is so important--especially during the toddler stage--to praise your child when it's deserved. I always make a point to smile at Presley and tell her how proud I am of her for doing this or that. Sometimes I feel like all I tell her is "no" or "please stop" so clapping and making a big deal out of the good things she does is very important. I can't remember where I read this (probably something on Pinterest, duh) but I read a great article on how we, as parents, forget to smile at our children. We let the stressors of life get to us and it can add sadness and worry to their day.
How sad is that?!
Last, but not least...
- Let go and let them learn and explore -
It's natural as a parent to want to protect your baby from anything and everything. I've really learned to just let Presley be a curious toddler and learn things on her own. Would I prefer her to not eat random things or climb up the stairs by herself? Ch-yeah! But, she is hard headed and is going to find out what happens herself. A lot of the times it only takes one time of falling off the couch for her to learn that she probably shouldn't jump up and down on it. Obviously I don't let her run into traffic and hope she learns that she should've looked both ways before crossing, but when it comes to stuff that really can't harm her I like to let her learn on her own. She is going to grow up into an adult one day (sniff sniff) and I hope she will be able to make wise decisions for herself. It's never too early to start :)
Whelp, that's all I have for now. I am fresh out of advice tonight! If you have any secrets on how to get my child to behave well in public please pass them along!