Ways to Prepare for Raising a Toddlerby Sabrina Hackett-Saikul
Of course, I knew about the appropriately named “Terrible Twos” before we reached that stage, but I don’t think I was honestly ready for them. In fact, looking back now, I know I wasn’t prepared in the slightest. We must remember that at this age a child’s stages of development are happening rapidly and they are learning every single day. It is important that we teach our children without needing to scare them. Most of us hate shouting too, even when it is done in a safety aspect. So here are my top ways in which you can prepare yourself for raising a child aged two. So as to prepare you for things that might drive you up the wall but you can mentally prepare yourself for them.
1. Buttons and Dials. Always remember to keep all buttons and dials out of reach, especially dangerous ones. Where that is impossible, say with a built-in oven, ensure the product is always turned off at the wall when not in use and always supervised when in use. A top tip for this as well is to keep telling the child “HOT” when your little one goes to touch either an oven, or radiator, or microwave etc. so as to teach them early of the dangers. Even if the appliances aren’t on at the time its good practice for children to recognise it for when they actually are. They may get hold of the TV remote and start pressing buttons, make sure you have any parental controls in place against channels they shouldn’t be seeing. Also, lock anything you have recorded so as not to lose them if buttons are accidentally pressed.
2. Sharp Objects. Keep and remove sharp objects where necessary. For me, this included things like Pliers I used for crafting, all types of Scissors, Knives and Peelers in the kitchen and also Razors in the bathroom. Shiny things are very eye-catching to a toddler which is why it is not hard to wonder why things such as these attract their attention. Even nail clippers and tweezers are sharp so remember to remove and keep them high up and out of sight. Children are clever and know how to get what they want, all the more reason for us to be smarter and remove the dangers.
3. Wires and Cables. We all know that children of this generation love technology, so it’s no wonder so many of us have to carefully tidy away cables or hide them behind furniture. Where that isn’t possible you must educate your little one on the danger of live cables plugged in and also sockets. Remember it isn’t just wall sockets to beware of; even a live USB cable can cause electrocution so you must take extra care where devices are plugged in. Ones that you let your child use are the ones most at risk of causing injury because they will become accustomed to using them and therefore want them, even if they are plugged in. So please beware.
4. Throwing Things. I always thought my son just threw things a lot because he liked to throw, which was fine when he was small as it was ball pit balls and soft toys, but not when it became hard toys and things like hardback books. Anything that could bruise someone else or worse, the item was removed and slowly introduced back in along with a lesson about it hurting somebody if it made contact with them. Throwing is a normal act that toddlers must learn about doing, but try and invent clever ways for them to do this. Basketball or other outdoor games are fine and indoors you can work out what should and shouldn’t be thrown within your own household.
5. Repetitive Actions. Be it rewinding the same part of a TV program like Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, or an advert on television, you should prepare yourself for many repeats of many sorts during this learning curve that is toddlerhood. My son loves many adverts especially those with animals and funny ones. I rewound one advert twenty-five times last week until he was satisfied he had seen it enough. I was repeatedly handed the television remote and asked to play “again”. It’s cute the first five times or so, with them laughing along at singing vegetables, but then you end up learning the entire advert off by heart and it becomes irritating. Get used to it. Something else that is often repetitive is reading the same book over and over and using the same words over and over too. It's always a good idea to engage with a toddler and make eye contact to show you're listening to them.
6. Tidying Up. Toddlers make so much mess. This is just a fact I’m afraid, and you may be lucky and end up with a child-like mine who will help you to tidy up (most of the time), however, there are times when they will push their luck by being deliberately disobedient. You may want them to tidy up ready to sit down for a meal or for going to bed but they refuse. Instead of making threats or getting angry and saying things like “You won’t have that toy to play with tomorrow if you don’t tidy them up”. Try saying things like “There will be plenty of time for you to play with these again but now it is time to eat, so if I help you tidy up now, then you can show me them all again tomorrow”. That way you aren’t using the word “No” and you are turning a negative event in the child’s eyes into a positive one, and giving them something to look forward to.
Maturity is a huge thing when your child reaches toddlerhood. Depending upon how you were parented as a child can also affect how you react to situations as an adult and parent. The best advice I can give you is to Breathe, Walk Away if you are ever angry, always try and see things from your child’s point of view, and finally, remember that there is still so much that they don’t yet understand, and sometimes a tantrum is just their way of expressing themselves.
Good luck with your journey into the realms of toddlerhood, I know I am still learning things every single day!