The 3 biggest mistakes we make with toddlers and why you should stop making them today

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The 3 biggest mistakes we make with toddlers and why you should stop making them today

The toddler phase – you have to love it don’t you? No, you actually don’t have to love it. But lucky for you I am here to give you a heads-up of a few simple things you can change to make your existence with your toddler more enjoyable for everyone.

Mistake #1 – Doing everything for them

What does this look like?

This looks like you cleaning up all their messes, picking up all their toys, putting all the clothes back into their drawers when they’ve pulled them all out etc. Now, there is definitely an age where things have to be like this, but it’s easy to stay in this habit for much longer than you need to. A good way to tell what stage your little one is at is to ask yourself this question – can they pick up toys to throw them around the lounge? If yes, then they can pick them up and put them into a box.

Why should you stop it today?

Toddlers often get frustrated and show us this in the way of meltdowns and tantrums. They need to feel in control and capable as much as we do. One of the reasons we often do things for them is that it is so much easier and definitely more effective to do it ourselves. While this is true, they will never learn to do it if you don’t let them try – especially when they are little and keen. They want that sponge to clean up their spilled milk – even if you have to clean it up again after they’ve had a go. These are opportunities for teaching them a skill, and more importantly opportunities for positive encouragement so they’ll want to try cleaning up their mess again next time. The best reason why you should stop doing this today is that 5-10 years from now, you will be doing so much less because they will be doing so much more around the house. Win win!

Mistake #2 – Attaching your self worth to how they eat dinner

What does this look like?

We’ve all been here. We put so much effort into making dinner while the kids are fighting and screaming and then when you finally manage to get them sitting at the table they refuse to eat what you’ve made. They say horrible things like “this is gross” or “this food is yuk”. These simple words are like daggers to our heart – especially at night time when we’re exhausted and at our limit of patience. We’ve spent the day scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and have seen the amazing meals that other mums are cooking their kids – and their kids seem to be happy and enjoying eating their meals – and we suddenly feel like such a failure because we’re not living up to that illusion that we’ve decided is reality.

Why should you stop it today?

The purpose of a meal is to nourish the body to give it energy to perform the various functions to keep the body alive. When it creates that much stress we need to take a step back and have a look at what is happening. One meal does not determine your worth as a mum. One meal does not make or break the health of your child. One meal does not determine how well they sleep that night. Stop putting these meanings into a simple meal when they’re simply not true. Your mental health is worth so much more than these stories. The other major reason we need to stop this is that our stress rubs off onto our kids and here is a proven fact for you – stressed kids don’t eat well.

Mistake #3 – Assuming they can’t understand reasoning¬†

What does this look like?

Have you ever tried to explain to a small child why they should do what you’ve just told them to do? Or have you tried to explain whey they can’t bite their sister? Or maybe why they can’t use their crayons on the wall? Of course we all have! As adults we understand reasoning, but very young kids can’t always have this same level of comprehension. Or do you do the opposite and assume because they’re so young they couldn’t possibly understand anything so why would you bother trying to explain your reasoning? It’s hard to know what the middle ground is – simply because that middle ground changes as they get older.

Why should you stop it today?

It has been proven that in the first 7 years of a child’s life so much of their personality and learning about the world around them takes place. Don’t disregard those years! They are like sponges – even when they can’t repeat the words you are saying they understand what you’re saying. They understand if you’re angry or happy. They can understand the tone of your voice. Use less words and rely on your tone and facial expressions to convey the meaning of your message.

So what now?

If these reasons make sense to you and you are ready for change, check out the variety of ways that you can work with me. I help overwhelmed mums make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I’ve been where you are now and I know how to move forward. I love guiding women towards the life they really want – for both themselves and their families. Come along and become the mum you know you can be.

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