conscious parentingHow to Love the Toddler Years: 3 Tips

26 August 2023

If you have young children under 5, today’s article is for you.

I know you are EXHAUSTED.
I see you.
I hear you.
I feel you.

You don’t need yet another parenting piece of advice on “how to handle your defiant toddler”. First off, your child doesn’t need to be handled; your child needs to be contained by you, with healthy limits, with listening skills, with love and with presence.

I love this period in a child’s development because it is such a fertile ground to instil supporting self-beliefs in a child’s mind.

Here are my 3 tips on how to love toddlerhood:

  1. Appreciate the psychological growth of your child. This is the time when your child is becoming intuitively aware that they are a separate individual from mom and dad (you). Their perception of reality is suddenly changing, and so they have a need to keep validating the separation between Self and Mom/ Dad (hence, the constant No’s and tantrums).
  2. Appreciate your own personal growth in this period. If you are serious about your work as a conscious parent, you will have a million triggers calling your attention every day. These triggers need to be explored in therapy, or else they will fester into lack of emotional regulation (yelling, shaming, punishing) later on. Your ability to repair the relationship increases during this time.
  3. You get to play and be silly – take the opportunity. Your child’s preferred language right now is PLAY. Through play, they explore the world; also learn discipline, social engagement rules, and communication. Play needs to be child-lead; you take the less powerful role in the play. Read the book Playful Parenting again, please.

My book is about toddlerhood.
There are many articles on my blog about toddlers.

When you feel exhausted or in doubt, say a mantra to yourself:

I am a good parent and I have a good child.
My child’s unpleasant behavior is a cry for help.
I commit to taking care of myself every day so I can take care of my child.