Being a parent is tough work. Exhausting actually. My girl will have a melt down followed by me turning away with tears streaming down my face from frustration. Mother like daughter maybe but the fact remains that this motherhood thing is not a walk in the park. That’s what I once imagined, the giggles, pushing her on the swing set, strolling her in a stroller through the park on a bright sunny day. As real as all of this might be, here and there, it’s not your everyday, all day long. Now as parents we all feel that the cries are worth it to experience our babies laugh and smile once again. It’s just the tough times and rough days can make us break down. So I’m here to give three tips, simple tips that we’ve all heard before but here’s my take on them. I’ve found these to be most important, and honestly they can be applied to any relationship we have, not just with our kids.
Keep your cool momma! If you can’t keep calm and stay patient, your baby certainly won’t. They feed off of our energy!
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We all know patience so important, and yet it’s one of the hardest qualities for any human to implement, especially in the heat of the moment. Is it a quality I’ve mastered? Not even close. Have I improved? Yes, but only because having children requires you to improve. We’ve all seen that mom in Walmart, quick-tempered, snapping at her children because they irritate her only to have her kids continue to misbehave. It’s like they are, unknowingly or knowingly (craving the drama???), encouraging their kids to throw fits. We know if it happens in public than it happens at home. So keeping our cool is so important, in public and at home!
Thinking before we speak, it’s a “no brainer” (see what I did there). It’s a must for all relationships we have, not to say something that we might later regret. Like I said, I’ve not mastered the quality and surely no one has. Like anything, we are certainly able to better ourselves and our relationships if we put forth positive effort. So practice being patient and you will see improvement in your toddlers patience.
What’s a strong relationship without clear and consistent communication? Our children crave our attention, sometimes if they are not getting positive attention they will create situations where they will receive negative attention. So why not patiently (see above) talk with them through difficult moments, moments when they are frustrated and are unable to explain their feelings. Try calmly talking with them, singing to them in the heat of the moment. This will give them positive attention and help them to learn how to use their words and not their cries or whines to get what they need.
A dear friend once told me, “it doesn’t matter how strict you are or how lenient you are, as long as you are consistent”. How true! Everyone wants consistency in their lives. Consistency in what? For one thing, routine. Many of us thrive on somewhat of a routine, we use planners or journals to keep things organized and together as moms (see an awesome mom planner below customized by you on www.purpletrail.com).
I realize that many of us also crave spontaneity every now and then, but imagine relying on someone else for every meal. Imagine relying on someone to provide you a bed to sleep in or to take you outside to get fresh air. You would begin to rely on a schedule, and knowing when things were to occur would prove to be comforting. Our babies need to know when things will happen. Talk, or communicate (point #2) to them about what’s next for their day. They will find this comforting as we all would. Have a general schedule, allowing for flexibility.
Be consistent in discipline. This takes forethought. What battles are we currently fighting? Is she whining all the time? Hitting? Not sharing toys with siblings? Pick only a few issues and stick to your plan of training. Communicate to your husband your ideas and get his thoughts. Come up with a game plan you both will implement. Talk to your parents and in-laws to get them on board, explaining the benefits of being on the same team and how that will ultimately help the child.
Talk to your care providers, baby-sitters, daycare, preschool teachers. Help them to see what you are currently working on at home so your child will understand good behavior is expected everywhere they go.
Consistency means you will discipline even when it might be embarrassing in public or around close friends. Whatever method you choose, whatever’s best for your family, it has to be consistent to what you expect at home just the same as in public, at school, or at a family members house.
Be patient (point #1) with yourself and baby as you both will have good days where you are consistent and you will both have bad days. We’re human with mood swings, normal stuff. But success, at least improvement, is certain with when implementing these three points.