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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : 5 Tips For Raising A Happy Toddler

3.27.2014

5 Tips For Raising A Happy Toddler




Whenever we are at the playground, Luke is most definitely that child running around squealing and laughing while all of the other kids stare in terror/amusement. It eventually ends up in all of them playing together and harmoniously squealing for joy, though. The reason being is that Luke is genuinely a happy toddler. Challenging, yes. But what toddler isn't? Screaming, learning boundaries and insanely high energy levels are the name of the game.

Oftentimes I blame myself thinking I am a terrible parent because my tot doesn't sit in one spot like a delicate flower and behave like a saint. I am beginning to realize how lame that is. Just because my toddler has bad moments doesn't mean I'm a bad mom. They are necessary and inevitable.

What I do know is that toddlers have the capacity to laugh and enjoy life beyond imagination. I read somewhere once that they laugh 50 times in an hour or something ridiculous like that (don't quote me on the amount, but the message here is that they laugh, a lot) and ever since I have wanted to make sure my toddler fills his capacity for happiness.

Here are my tips I have gathered along the way to raising a happy toddler:

  1. Keep them on a routine. This covers all facets of life. Meals, sleeping, playtime, etc. The more of a schedule they are on, the more secure they will be with life because they know what is coming next and their small world will have sense and order to it.
  2. Laugh and play with them. I don't know a little person that doesn't eat up every moment they get to play with their parents. Sharing in the silly moments of life creates a tight bond, and the best way to someone's heart is through laughter.
  3. Do not reinforce negative behavior. This one I am still working on. For example, it is tough and horribly embarrassing for me to let my child throw a mega-tantrum in public without reacting to it, but the more I've ignored it, the less of a problem we've had with negative behavior. Luke is learning to approach upsetting situations in a more sensible manner, which obviously keeps everyone in better spirits. Also, distraction is a wonderful tool for diverting unwanted behaviors and keeping things calm and happy.
  4. Actively reward them for positive behavior. I can't even begin to emphasize how important this is! Words of affirmation and encouragement do so much for a toddler's behavior and self-esteem by helping them feel important and validated.
  5. Tell them you love them often. Because how can you not be happy when you know someone unconditionally loves you?

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5 Comments:

At March 30, 2014 at 11:47 AM , OpenID mommamoonpie.com said...

My baby girl is turning 1 in 2 weeks and she is definitely showing her toddler traits more and more every day! This post makes me so so happy and excited for her toddler years. Thank you!

 
At March 30, 2014 at 5:35 PM , Blogger Sierra Ainge Charlesworth said...

I could not agree with these more. I am not a parent, but I think these 5 things are SO important to a toddler's growth emotionally, socially, etc.

 
At March 30, 2014 at 8:41 PM , Blogger Abbey Rodriguez said...

They definitely aren't easy years, but they are some of the sweetest and I feel like if you are equipped with how to deal with the tough situations it is SO much better :) Enjoy it! It is fun.

 
At March 30, 2014 at 8:41 PM , Blogger Abbey Rodriguez said...

Coming from a teacher, this makes me happy to hear! It's the little things that are important.

 
At March 31, 2014 at 10:07 PM , Blogger Autumn Duke said...

First of all, those pictures of Luke? I'm dying. Seriously, he is sooo cute! Secondly, I needed to read this. My baby girl is approaching toddlerhood (apparently that's not really a word but I'm going with it anyway) and I'm already starting to see the signs. I guess this is where real parenting starts. I love the idea of focusing on positive reinforcement. I would much rather be that parent... and I can already see the need in my own parenting to stop reinforcing the negative. It's surprisingly easy to give in to her tantrum demands. I guess I need to be stronger.

 

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