As my children grow I am amazed to see how different they are from one another. They have their own personalities, likes, dislikes, and fears. They truly are their own person. I know of no other extreme opposites as my two oldest children.
My daughter loves to read and is a social butterfly when she’s around children her age. She’s a quiet, old soul who loves life and is going to be a remarkable woman.
My son is lucky to be alive. Honestly, he is the most active, busy, crazy child I have ever met. And his activity isn’t just at certain times of the day. It starts at 6 a.m. and goes until he crashes around 7 p.m. with no naps in between. His favorite activities include bouncing off walls, having near death experiences, and crashing toy cars.
Please don’t misunderstand, I love my children and respect them for who they are. I want to nurture and teach them according to their needs and learning abilities. This is why I want to share with you what I have learned about having a busy toddler. This is the secret: having a busy toddler doesn’t have to be hard.
Here are 7 tips to help you thrive with your little one.
A Busy Toddler Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. 7 Tips
Patience is a two-way road. You not only need to have patience for your growing child but you also need to have patience for yourself. You’re still learning too. I found that the more seriously I took myself the more miserable I became with myself and my children.
Patience is key for success, growth, and development. Your toddler is bouncing off walls, go bounce with them! Be silly, enjoy yourself, and cherish the moments. The days last forever, but the years go by very quickly.
2. Productive Outlets
For those times when I need my son to “calm down” or I need him in a certain area of the home, I give him two activity choices. This doesn’t keep his attention for a long period of time, but it allows him to focus his mind and hands on something new for at least 15 minutes before moving onto the next thing. Some productive (and possibly quiet) outlets include coloring, drawing, blocks, and interactive books to name a few.
3. Words of Affirmation
I completely understand when your toddler does something for the millionth time, and you’ve told them a million and one times not to do it, and all you want to do is scream into a pillow. What I can promise you is taking out any built up anger, frustration or grief on anyone will not solve the issue.
I have found using words of affirmation to be the most successful outcome when I am correcting my child. I explain my love for him and why he’s not to do his action as simply and quickly as possible.
4. Simple Challenges
My busy toddler loves a good challenge. He hates being told he can’t do something. Our family creates “simple challenges” for the children depending on their energy levels. Simple challenges include completing a task before a certain song ends, running an errand (usually I give them something to take to their father who is a few feet away), or any other task that helps you be productive and helps them burn up that energy.
5. Simple Rewards
Rewards are given to our children when there is something specific they do that is outside their norm. For example, if our son goes a day without crashing into something or destroying an object, we recognize that good behavior and applaud him for it.
Rewards have included mom or dad reading their favorite bedtime story, silly karaoke singing before bedtime, or something else that means a lot to them that they normally don’t get to do.
6. Quiet Time
Although the majority of my children no longer take naps we still have quiet time in our home. Quiet time is usually after lunch for about 20 minutes where we have the children sit and look through books. They can also color or draw.
Laugh with your children, laugh at yourself, just laugh a lot. Otherwise, you’re going to be really miserable. Having a busy toddler isn’t a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s a wonderful gift and blessing. The important thing is to nurture and help teach them ways to manage their energy.
Other activities we have found to be successful includes having them run around outside, play at the park, anything that involves physical movement and activity. Yes, this means turning off the television, but I promise if you play with them and give yourself permission to “be a kid” with your children, you will make some beautiful memories.
How do you thrive with your busy toddler? Leave a comment and let us know down below.
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected]