2016 Jan 25
Whether planned or not, parenting comes as a bigger challenge than expected, for most of us. Even with all the needed help, there can be days that seem downright exhausting. The goal each day? Survival! But should it always be so? Here are six simple pointers that can help us not only to get through each day, but also to enjoy the hours we spend with our energetic young ones.
- Make it simple – This one is mainly for us mothers who don’t have the luxury of extra hands around the home on a daily basis. If you have a day alone with your toddler and still want to get some of your own work done, there’s no better way to start than to cut out an easy to handle routine for that day. For example, instead of cooking an elaborative meal, try fixing up a simple meal that doesn’t involve much time and which can be kept on demand for the entire day. Do not overcrowd the day with activities. Instead decide ahead on a doable ‘to do’ list and stick to it.
- Do not anticipate the worst – Children have a strong tendency to feed off the energy that is within us. Many times we feel restless or anxious inside and then wonder why our young ones are acting out. The key is to remain calm and remain positive. Tell yourself that no matter what, you will enjoy the day ahead. Then watch how this change in you, will affect the way your toddler gets through the day.
- Involve, not Entertain – Many parents feel the need to entertain their children. This need brings about unwanted pressure. Children don’t have to be entertained. They just want to be involved in your life. If you have ‘cleaning the clothes cupboard’ on your ‘to do’ list, get your toddler involved. Spread out a sheet on the floor and pile some clothes and sit with him.
- Be ready for less than perfect – Yes, your young one may not fold the clothes as you would want it done. And yes you may get only quarter or less of the cupboard actually cleaned. But it’s alright! If focusing on perfection is ruining your joy and his, there’s really no need to do it. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the day, not to prefect it. And sometimes aiming at perfection really does suck the joy out this experience.
- Treasure those moments – A pair of shorts tried on as a cap, a broom being used as a mop, a bowl of rice becoming a toy are some inevitable moments. How you choose to react to them is what makes the difference. Are you going to lose your cool or grab a camera instead? These very moments are what your toddler will later remember as the most fun or most feared part of his childhood.
- Want no do-overs – When you have tucked your toddler into bed and your day draws to an end, do not ask for a do over. Wanting a do over, will somehow make the day that just passed not good enough to be satisfied with. Yes there may be things undone on your list, and a few mistakes along the way. But as long as you had fun with your toddler, you should fall asleep content and free of any kind of regret.
Joanne Sathyadass has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism, Psychology and English Literature from the University of Bangalore now serving as a Special Needs Educator
For any queries please email Joanne on email@example.com