They’re cute; they’re cuddly; and they are almost impossible to control. Welcome to the wonderful world of raising a toddler!
After turning into cheeky, demanding, stubborn mini-versions of yourself, they know exactly how to push your buttons. But aside from the unexpected meltdowns, they also make every day a challenging, fun, exciting adventure.
So how can you not only survive life with a toddler, but relish it? We have no idea! But these tongue-in-cheek tips may help point you in the right direction:
1. Start as you mean to continue
When you wake up in the morning, dump out every single item in your closet and throw everything around the house. That way any mess your toddler makes through the day – and there will be plenty of mess! – will only be minor in comparison to yours.
2. N-O spells NO
Explore the various ways to say ‘no’. That way you won’t feel like you are repeating yourself all day. The next time your toddler asks for chocolate for breakfast or tries to dip dolly into the food colouring, try:
- Not at this stage
- Forget it
- Thumbs down
3. Batten down the hatches
There’s a whirlwind on legs coming down the hallway so hide the baby powder. Hide the baby oil. And most especially, hide the nappy cream.
4. Make plans
Make an appointment for the middle of the day. That way, you can be sure your child falls asleep in the car two minutes before you arrive at your destination.
5. Change your name to ‘Dad’
And let your partner know that he is now known as ‘Mum.’ This will reduce your stress levels immensely.
6. Don’t sacrifice your me-time
Plan all beauty routines, showers and toilet needs for 3am. Enjoy this alone time because it’s all you’re going to get.
7. Beat them at their own game
Check out these 5 ways to handle toddler tantrums for some great ideas on dealing with the dreaded public meltdowns. And if all else fails, hiding under a box until they stop screaming always works too.
8. Start the bedtime routine at 3pm
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a little premature. If you start at 3pm, you will have some hope of getting them into bed by 7pm.
9. Lower your expectations
Sure, the house is a disaster, the laundry has been in the washing machine since 7am, there are broken crayons mashed into the carpet and your toddler is currently going through your makeup bag, but, hey, everyone is alive. Everyone is happy. You did your job.
This post was first published on 23 April 2015.
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