Tuesday, 14 February 2012

How to survive those toddler years

Being a parent can be a scary business. You end up constantly questioning yourself. Is he getting enough stimulation? Should he really be enjoying that cake so much? Are two hours of solid Postman Pat-watching too much?
And when your little one becomes a toddler, the bar is set at a whole new level. Which is why I wanted to introduce you to Joanne Mallon. A fellow freelance parenting journalist with two children of her own, she has put together an invaluable book every parent should have within easy reach.
Toddlers - an instruction manual is a guide to surviving the years one to four but what makes it brilliant is that it is written for parents by parents. Isn’t the best advice always given by other mums over a rushed cup of coffee at the local playgroup? Joanne has gathered together all those valuable tips and put them together in a book just for you. And there’s no preaching or judgemental comments – just friendly advice from someone who has been there, done it, seen it all.
Here is an extract so you can see for yourself:

My child the mirror
Children of all ages, but particularly toddlers, are like a barometer of the world around them. So if your child’s behaviour changes, and especially if it becomes more challenging, the first place to look is at the rest of their world and ask yourself what this is a reflection of.

Reasons for changes in toddler behaviour could include:

·         The arrival of a new sibling
·         Parental arguments or separation
·         Tiredness – especially if sleep has been disrupted or you’re in the process of dropping the daytime nap
·         Pressure to potty train before they’re ready
·         Moving house
·         Changes of key worker in nursery
·         Any kind of stress at home

This is particularly true when there is stuff going on in a parent’s life that takes their attention away from their child – you’ve gone back to work, so he’s suddenly started waking up at 3am. It’s all about gaining your attention.

And whilst it can be distressing to see how your child picks up on the undercurrents of life that you thought you’d protected them from, at least it makes it easy to see what’s going on, and to change whatever needs to change to stop it from continuing.

Please don’t feel guilty or start blaming yourself if your child starts acting up as a result of stress at home – these things happen in all families, and once you start feeling guilty as a parent you might never stop. It takes up way too much energy and probably gives you wrinkles as well.

In fact, I think it’s one of the loveliest things about toddlers that their external world is also embedded within them, etched right through like writing on a stick of rock - a toddler will never pretend to be happy when they’re not. Adults could learn a lot from that.

Like what you have read? Here is where you can get hold of a copy:



1 comment:

  1. Great advice and - I have to say - I'm not surprised seeing as it's coming from Joanne! The idea of your toddler as a mirror is an interesting one. I notice that if I'm slightly narky and a bit tired then my toddler is almost certainly the same. It's amazing how digging deep into those reserves of patience and painting a (sometimes fake) smile on your face can change the mood of the little people. Well, mine anyway.