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Tips for getting along with your toddler

If you're worried about the terrible two's and three's, don't despair. You can survive toddlerhood and enjoy watching your child develop into an incredible child. Read on for 6 inspiring tips.
Amy Peterson, FamilyShare Modified: May 29, 2014 at 10:41 pm •  Published: June 3, 2014

It's exciting when children are learning to walk and talk as they move beyond babyhood into toddlerhood. This time in development can also be quite challenging. Toddlers have strong ideas on what they do and don't want to do, but often don't have the motor skills or reasoning ability to be independent. Parents find themselves exhausted when caring for toddlers or frustrated at their budding "strong" personalities. Don't start looking for daycare and boarding schools just yet. You can get along with your toddler and help her develop into a fantastic child. These 6 tips will help.

Fall in love with him or her

Love is crucial when caring for children. Love helps people overlook faults and mistakes and also motivates selfless behavior. By the time your child is a toddler, you should have a strong bond. That bond will prevent you from feeling too frustrated and frazzled when tantrums and messes occur. Realize and remember how you felt when your child was born. Watch him sleep and see how precious he is. Hug and snuggle your child and vocalize loving words. Having loving moments daily will help both of you feel secure in your relationship.

Be patient

Toddlers don't understand the concept of time very well. They may want to take 5 minutes to analyze a bug on the sidewalk when you're trying to get somewhere, or take 25 minutes to eat a snack. They might be done with church or a concert after just a few minutes, demanding to go home immediately. Being patient with a toddler takes effort but can help diffuse difficult situations and keep you from pulling your hair out daily. Learn ways to distract your toddler and try to reason with her, even though she might not be willing to listen.

My daughter used to take off her shoes and run to the farthest corner of the house to hide under furniture as we were ready to walk out the door. She thought it was a funny game, but it made me very unhappy and usually late. After getting upset about it a few times, I decided to play it cool and talk with her about it. Although she didn't stop entirely, the novelty wore off quickly; now it's a memory that makes me smile.

Channel your inner child

Parenting toddlers can be incredibly fun if you let loose a little. Don't be afraid to get on the floor and wrestle, fingerpaint with abandon and jump in puddles after it rains. Toddlers love music, so sing songs with them (the sillier the better) and learn the value of taking a nap with a fuzzy blanket. I enjoyed taking my toddlers outside for finger food picnic lunches on the grass and nature walks that had no real destination. Let your children develop and use their imaginations and read to them often.

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