Parenting Toddlers | On the Banks of Squaw Creek: Parenting Toddlers
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Parenting Toddlers

Being a mommy to a newborn is difficult, but I think raising toddlers is at least 10 times harder.  New babies need you 24 hours a day, but it is pretty straight forward.  Make sure they get enough to eat, enough sleep, and enough cuddling, and you’re a pretty good parent. 

 

When the child gets older, things get more difficult.  There are so many choices you have to make every day that affect your child’s behavior, how much they learn, and how healthy they are.  I firmly believe that it is my job to to make choices that are best for him in the long run, which is often NOT what makes him happy at that moment.

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Obviously, my almost-3-year-old does not understand the benefits of having string cheese instead of m&ms for a snack.  And he has no idea why I’d rather he play with his blocks than watch Diego again.  He can’t even seem to figure out that he feels better after a nap.

And so, he fights. 

He cries, yells, whines and pouts when he doesn’t get his way. 

And ideally, I stand my ground.  Once I’ve said “no” to something, I try very hard not to give in.  I do NOT want Adam to learn that throwing a fit will get him what he wants.  That’s just not acceptable to me.

But it’s. so. hard. 

Sometimes, I give in right away. For example, if he ate a good lunch, I won’t argue over snack.  Some battles just aren’t worth fighting.

But other times, I say no, and brace myself for a battle of wills.  Unfortunately, he is often more stubborn than I am.  He wears me down and his fighting makes me long for the same instant gratification that he’s seeking. 

And too often, I give in.

 

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Eating Easter candy and watching TV.  *sigh*

13 comments:

  1. Girl, I could have written this...I think having a a newborn has definitely reminded me that having a toddler is SO much harder.

    I think Dmitri is even more in "toddler mode" since Damon's arrival. Sigh....

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  2. Isn't it hard?! Three was not a fun age for me. Sometimes I just have to remind myself who was the parent in the situation! And focus on the big picture. Good luck!

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  3. I hear ya! We are going through the terrible twos right now with Mel. B skipped those and went straight to the trying threes. Best of Luck!

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  4. Oh I hear you girl! My son will be 3 in a month and I swear the terrble 3's are worse than the terrible 2's. I love him to death, but these fits are going to be the death of me!!

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  5. Oh yes. I miss the baby days, when the worst thing was that I had to wake up at night. Wait until he learns to run the TV himself. I've had to unplug it before so Mr. Man couldn't turn it back on.

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  6. Amen. A newborn can't talk, which means we don't fight. I'm all about picking your battles. Thankfully, as they get older, they are able to understand more the art of compromise. Otherwise referred to at my house as "If I do what mama wants first then I get to . . . "! Hang in there with your little loves - they're so stinking cute!!

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  7. Give me a newborn over a toddler any day! I'd rather stay up all night with a crying baby than deal with temper tantrums. Preschooler is slowly coming out of terrible twos - which for boys usually lasts 'till 5. Toddler is just now getting into terribly twos. . . great. I think it's time for another one so at least someone in the house loves me! Ha.

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  8. Well, I, for one, think you're doing a marvelous job! It is right to pick your battles. I'm not always happy about the ones I forfeit before they begin, but sometimes peace is more important than enforcing who is the adult (sometimes, when it won't cause anyone any harm).
    With a 3.5 year old, a 2 year old and a newborn, I've had to relearn all my ideas of which battles are worth fighting and which aren't.
    Hang in there - it does get easier!

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  9. Battles wear me down too, and I will admit that I sometimes do things to avoid them, like offering grilled "naked" chicken to the one I know will eat it, and giving the other one a hot dog because I know she will eat it. It's not out of the How to be the Best Parent in the World book, but some days it's the way our world turns! Welcome to parenting with TWO children. It is definitely a give and take. Just roll with it and do your best! You ARE doing a great job!

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  10. I'm like you. I don't back down once I've said "NO" and sadly it doesn't stop when they stop being toddlers. The most stubborn and argumentive child in our house is the seven and a half year old!
    Going from one babe to two is never easy but a bit of candy and another episode of Diego aren't going to hurt while you find your feet. You are doing a great job. xx

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  11. Too true! Newborns are exhausting and toddlers even more-so for totally different reasons!

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  12. Hahaha! Oh, I'm soooo there with you. I make my 2 year old go cry and tantrum in her room. I tell her I don't want to hear it. Sometimes she'll stop right away because she doesn't want to go to her room. And sometimes she goes to her room and screams at the top of her lungs until she's all done. The rule is, she can't come out until she's done. It's not easy, that is for sure. And sometimes I do give in too, but like you said, we don't want them to learn that tantruming works sometimes because then they'll try it everytime! Yikes! My one year old has starting throwing fits. She learned young. **sigh**

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  13. Omigosh I've been thrown back to when I went to LaLeche league and the leader had teenagers. I was so grateful but amazed that someone who had teenagers would still be actively willing to entertain a group talking about newborns and toddlers. She said wisely "teenagers and toddlers are not too different." I tried to make my first little guy happy waaaaay too much and paid when he was a teen. He was a stubborn, I'll fight my way out of time out kind of a guy even at 3. I'd like to go back in time and sanction every time he was temper tantrum man by placing him in his room and having the hardware on the door to do it with. It would have made the rest of his upbringing a lot easier to establish firmly who was in charge from the beginning. Somebody I read said it right when they said until 18 months you do everything for them, and after that, they do everything for you.

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