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Getting on with your toddler

Written by Debbie Channing

The toddler years can be difficult, but there are plenty of beautiful moments to cherish! The toddler years can be difficult, but there are plenty of beautiful moments to cherish too! When you deliver your baby, they come without a handbook. Parenting can be the most rewarding and the most challenging job we ever do. Today we are going to look at getting on with your toddler - over the coming months I hope to explore many other topics in much more detail, giving you hints and tips on how to make the relationship with your child even more positive, and empowering you to be the most effective parent that you can be Some of the concerns about raising a toddler include: physical, emotional & social development; sleep issues; food & fussy eating; potty training; play; discipline; setting & maintaining boundaries; socialisation; routines; tantrums; behaviour; crying & whinging; safety; attending pre-school/nursery... and the list goes on! All of these things are part of this stage of development. Today I want to focus on the pleasures that toddlers bring too – a smile that can melt even the hardest of hearts; their emerging character & personality; those funny, witty and amusing moments; how they learn new vocabulary and test it out; becoming independent; exploring their world with determination and persistence; their play becoming more imaginative and creative. There are lots of positive memories that you are creating together. For some parents the toddler years can be a challenging time in their child’s life - it is a stage of development that moves them from being a totally dependent baby to a more independent child. As parents, it can be a bumpy journey at times. It is therefore essential that we resource ourselves to remain strong and able to move through this stage with confidence and self-belief. Taking some ‘me’ time is vital. When we have a family our needs are often put to the bottom of the pile, however if we take time out for ourselves, we are much more effective as a parent. If you can get those luxury days at the spa or out shopping with friends, go for it. However I live in the ‘real’ world and it’s about treating ourselves in small ways, such as a soak in the bath, the occasional lie in, 5 minutes to sit down with a magazine and a coffee, hair & beauty treatments etc If we place a low value on ourselves then others usually follow suit, so it is important that we give out the message that our needs are important too, no more important than anyone else’s but equally so. If you are parenting in a partnership or have reliable family or friends to mind the children take some time out, just go for a walk or relax for a little while to recharge those batteries. If you don’t have a support network, consider popping into your local children’s centre to see what is on offer or have a session in the gym whilst your toddler is in the crèche. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Debbie Channing, Parent Coach & Chief Executive of Time 4 Change, has over 20 years’ experience working with parents & children. For further information, support and advice please see her website - www.debbiechanning.com - or email her at Debbie@debbiechanning.com