Shift Your Perspective & Enjoy Time With Your Toddler
If you are the parent of a toddler, you how frustrating they can be at times. I don’t think anything can quite prepare you for the toddler years until you actually get to experience them for yourself.
I was completely caught off guard when we got our first glimpse of a toddler meltdown, that only seemed to get worse as time went on. They worn you about the terrible 2’s, but what about the terrible 3’s & 4’s?
There are a few things that I have learned along the way to help shift my mindset and learn from my experiences with my toddler. Rather then relish in my guilt as a mother, because sometimes I just want the day to be over.
With a few mindset changes, I hope you can shift your perspective the way that I have shifted mine. Although you will still have days that are trying, this hopefully will help you have more good days than bad.
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Tips for shifting your perspective
1- Toddlerhood doesn’t last forever
The season of toddlerhood is a short one. The days might seem extremely long, but they will go by in the blink of an eye.
This is an important time to hit the breaks on the housework and the long to-do list you will probably never finish anyway, because your toddler will not be little forever.
I am constantly reminding myself of this often when I need that extra 5 minutes to finish an email, and my toddler is pulling at my shift to come play cars with him.
I have to remind myself that me taking the time to sit on the floor to play cars with my son might be the highlight of his day, and there will come a time he won’t want to do that anymore.
2- Ditch the guilt
This is the hardest thing for me. I always feel guilty of something that I am not finishing. Dishes, laundry, work, errands, phone calls, you name it.
And if I do accomplish a few of these things, I am guilty that I didn’t spend that time with my son.
At the end of the day, take that time to spend with your toddler. I without a doubt, feel the least amount of guilt when I spend that time with my son.
As mothers, I think it is common that we put too much pressure on ourselves regularly, because we want everything to be perfect for our family. I know that is something that I struggle with daily.
At the end of the day, your kids don’t care if the dishes are done or the laundry is put away. So try your best to ditch the guilt, even if it is only some of the time.
3- The little things matter
This is something that took some time for me to learn. The little things matter to the little people in your life. That book you were too busy to read to them this morning…that was probably a big deal to them.
The things that seem like trivial matters to us are usually a pretty big deal when it comes to our little ones.
Yes, they will probably get over it quickly, but we want them to look back and no mom took the time to read the book, and know that we shared that 5 minutes of quality time this morning.
It shows that you are listening and understand what they are saying. This allows them to know you are there for them and are present when they need it.
Of course there will be exceptions to this, but it’s important to be present with your kids at least a few times a day.
4- Brain development is crucial
Between the ages of 0-3 your child is undergoing the biggest brain development of their live’s. Their environment, experiences & relationships will help set the foundation for healthy brain development.
There are things we can do as parents to help nurture our growing baby & toddler’s growing brain’s.
Get outside to play and explore, even if it is only for 10 minutes. Your toddler will love spending that extra time with you
5- Doing nothing doesn’t have to be boring
You don’t need to do anything fancy for it to be fun. You don’t need to go on expensive outings, or buy fancy toys for your kids to have fun.
Simply having you present and there to spend time with them is going to make your toddler happy.
Reading books, going for a walk, doing puzzles together. These are all engaging activities your toddler will love. And he will love that YOU are doing them with him.
These are simple activities anyone can do, any day of the week, rain or shine.
6- Other things can wait
The text, phone call, or email can wait for later.
It’s important to be present with your toddler. They can tell when you are not completely invested in the activity you are doing with them.
They are paying attention, and it can cause them to form the same habits at a young age if you are not present with them. It is especially important given the technology driven world we live in today.
How can we expect our kids to give use their full attention, if we can’t do the same them?
7- Don’t be embarrassed
Sometimes I find myself not wanting to take my toddler to the park to avoid yet, another meltdown.
I can already hear the screaming in my head the moment we will have to leave.
When it really comes down to it, the only reason this bothers me is because of what other people might think.
It’s important to remember that the meltdown won’t last forever, and the outdoor time and time you spent together outweighs the meltdown and the stair down from a few people on the park bench.
At the end of the day, the only ones who truly care’s is you.
8- Change of Scenery
When I find myself getting frustrated with my toddler, or vice-versa I find it so helpful to change up the scenery.
Something as simple as going out in the backyard, or for a walk to the park can help boost everyone’s moods tremendously. Even if it is only for 10 minutes.
We always come back inside in such a better mood, and can continue on with our day more peacefully.
We try to get outside for a least 10 minutes a day, as I think it is crucial for toddler development to have that creative outdoor play.
Being cooped up all day can wreak havok on our mindset. I always know it’s time to get outside when my toddler is running around getting into EVERYTHING possible, or having tantrum after tantrum.
Shifting your perspective can make all the difference
With a few simple mindset shift’s, you can make spending time with your toddler a whole lot more enjoyable. And possibly understand your toddler’s point of view a little bit better.
I have to remind myself often to put myself in my toddler shoes. It must be so difficult to not fully be able to communicate the things you need or want. By realizing this, it allows me to show my toddler a bit more grace when he is having a rough day.
We have all been there, there is no shame in admitting that you need a day off, and it is okay to ask for help. Toddlers are hard, and they have probably challenged you in ways you didn’t know were possible.
One of the biggest takeaways I hope you from this is that these years are short and we need to shift our perspective, and learn to give a little for our big mess makers, because they won’t want to play with us forever.
These book’s have helped me change my perspective as a parent, and give my child the tools to help them thrive: