I am republishing this post I wrote when my youngest son was three, and edited it to make it more applicable to the toddler tips series.
After a busy week or month, I know I have to take the time to regroup. I think with babies and most especially toddlers, this is so important. Too much going…not just them, but me too, takes a toll on their behavior and their happiness. May is a busy month for us this year. Lots of sports games, and never a weekend day that is empty. During the weekday evenings this month, I have had to run errands more than usual for some of the special end of the year events, and I volunteered for a few things also, which meant lots of phone call/emails.
I think little guys can take some of the coming and going, and sometimes these busy times are unavoidable in life, but I also think that there comes a time when I have to step back and reset, and give him breaks from all the hustle and bustle and from the lack of one-on-one time. Some kids can last longer than others-well, maybe that’s not true. I think all little ones will act out in their own way no matter what-the risk is that we get so used to this “acting out” behavior with our refusal to slow down, that we enable our toddlers to form bad behavioral habits.
I know that my three year old likes to move very very slowly, and in a way that is a blessing to me. On the way to the car, no matter what a rush I am in, he stomps in every puddle on the way to the car, insists on doing his buckle, all the while holding the baseball mitt he just must bring with him everywhere he goes.
We know that everything seems so busy for us in this day and age, but imagine it from a child’s point of view-they just want to “be”, to explore, to notice, to wonder, on every little thing. They want their toys, their home, their routine in place.
We must be willing to compromise-to clear our calendars as much as possible by saying no to activities or opportunities that create a too hectic lifestyle for our toddlers, to say no to projects that might take too much of our time right now, to take everything down a notch-mostly our expectations (which means we must reject a little of our over-the-top culture i.e. birthday parties, perfectly decorated homes, etc), and to hit that reset button if we are pulled off our course. There will be a time when they are more flexible, when they can move faster and keep up pace, but right now we have to accommodate their need for order in their life, and we will be rewarded with a happy toddler.