As moms, one of our main jobs is to build up our home and not to tear it down. A woman that builds her home, is someone that God calls wise. (Proverbs 14:1) Your toddlers need you to encourage them as they are in the most tender, moldable stage of life. How often do you build up your toddler?
Have you ever shuddered at the grocery store when you hear a mother or father yell “Shut-up!” to their toddler? I have even heard parents cuss at their small children in a parking lot and I felt my fists begin to clench and my teeth begin to grit.
It is beyond my understanding how grown adults cannot find enough strength to curb their temper and stop tearing down their toddlers. That is the main reason I chose the name Pint-sized Treasures for this website. It is a small, tiny area in the world where I can speak out against parents and other adults viewing children as nuisances and interruptions in their lives. On this website, we treat those tiny hands and feet as treasures and gifts!
Instead of tearing our children down, we should be encouraging them on a daily basis. Their young lives should be filled to the brim and even running over with hugs, kisses and words of praise.
If you are in need of some inspiration on how to encourage your little one throughout the day, everyday, try these tips! You and your toddler will be happier and peaceful when you focus on helping and encouraging them.
Simple Ways to Build Up Toddlers
- Be present in your toddler’s life. Don’t push your munchkin away when you are answering an email. Instead take a few moments and address her needs or wants. Take time to play with your toddler every day. Make tents together, color pictures, go on walks, bake together, try these simple toddler activities or whatever your child enjoys doing — do it! My youngest child enjoys swinging on our large patio swing. I try to make a “date”with him everyday for this special time. We are making memories!
It’s sad to see so many parents just going through the motions of everyday with little interaction with their toddlers. Many times they only give them a kiss good-night and that was their “quality time.” Your munchkins will grow up fast — connect with them now!
- Set goals for your little one. Are you making dinner soon? Ask your toddler to help set the table. Do you clean your room in the morning? Ask your little one to help you make your bed. By giving toddlers responsibility you are letting them know they have an important place in the family. When a child successfully completes a goal, like chores, he begins to develop security and an “I can do it!” attitude.
It is my three-year-old son’s task to open the door for visitors after they leave our home. He enjoys it so much and not only receives praise and thanks from us, but also from the others he helps. When he runs back to us, he always has an upbeat spirit and can’t wait to help out in another area!
- Make the boundaries clear. Definite boundaries help a child understand what is acceptable in your home and what is not. If she does not know the rules, she can become paranoid and insecure of messing up. Make your rules reasonable and make sure you stick to them! If rules are not enforced, they are worthless.
Examples of acceptable rules for toddlers:
No whining or screaming.
Say “please” and “thank-you.”
Pick up your toys after you play.
Do not open the refrigerator.
As your child obeys these rules, she will feel confident that he is able to obey “house rules.” By establishing clear boundaries, you are promoting even more security for your toddler!
- Offer loads of praise Criticism and negativity comes from everywhere in the outside world. Create a haven in your home by praising your toddler for jobs well-done, good attitudes or any positive characteristics you observe. Never hesitate to give them honor. Your child needs to know you like him and are proud of him!
- Make eye contact. When praising or correcting, get down on your toddler’s eye level and speak one-on-one together. You are letting him know she is the focus of your thoughts and energy. When he asks for a drink, squat down and ask him if he want juice or milk. Take these special short conversations to interact with your child in order to build his confidence in your unbiased love.
- Smile often. It’s so easy to lose our smile when we’re busy in daily tasks and life, isn’t it? However, I honestly believe that a toddler finds much security in seeing a smile on mom’s face. When a toddler sees that smile, the entire world seems like a peaceful, happy place…and the toddler knows that mom really does love and care for him!
- Listen. Nothing says, “You don’t really matter,” like someone not listening to what you are saying. When your toddler gets excited about something and wants to show and tell you about this new discovery, really listen and pay attention. Comment on their discovery. Don’t just say, “Uh…yeah. That’s neat. Now, go and play!” Your toddler knows when you’re really listening and when you’re just trying to shoo him away.
- Laugh often. Go ahead, let your hair down and be super silly with your toddler. Sing silly songs with them, talk in funny voices — anything to get a smile or laugh from your kiddos. Adding some silliness and fun to your toddlers day is the perfect way to build them up!
If you are offering your tiny tot lots of love, time, praise and encouragement, you are well on your way to encouraging your toddler. Keep taking time to let her know she matters, she’s unique and she’s special.
Soon those chubby feet will be kicking soccer and footballs at their middle-school games. The love you impart to them now will help your parent-child relationship in the future as they begin to become more independent. Prepare your kids for a more secure future as you build them up — today.