How To Care for my Toddler and Remain Sane
Capture Child's Abilities
Toddlers can make us want to root out our hair but they are so adorable that we just have to retain our sanity for their benefit. Toddlers between the ages of 3-5 years have vivid imaginations. Their developing skills and mental abilities will be reflected in toys that capture their imagination. Building blocks can make kids become quite creative.They ask a multitude of questions and then request that you, the parents play with them. They may ask you to help construct a plane, car, doll-house or whatever toy that they really like.
Building Blocks - the beauty about building blocks is that they can be broken down and rebuilt to any design that is chosen. Puzzles increase mental abilities as your child has to remember which piece goes where in order to complete the picture of the puzzle. After being shown the correct way several times, he/she can then assemble the puzzle by himself/herself. Parents just need to exhibit patience and understanding at the child's learning stage. Provide your child with a wide selection of toys. Once the weather permits, outside activities such as swimming or running around in the garden will increase strength and motor skills. Invest time in your child and you will surely reap great rewards.
Remember that toddlers are now copy cats. They watch parents' movements and listen to your every word. So parents have to be great role models. Do not become discoruaged as you are questioned frequently by your child. This is the learning stage. They absorb everything that is being taught.
Your child as he/she moves from 3 to 4 years will now ask if he/she can assist around the home. Sometimes they ask to do impossible tasks such as cook, build something with a hammer, wash dishes, bake, mix concrete or other difficult chore. Do not be dismayed. This is what is being observed on a daily basis and your child wants to be a part of it. So... we move them away from the hard-to-do chores and instead engage them in simpler tasks. For example, "Sweetheart, come and help Mummy/Daddy sweep the kitchen or dust the chair or put the place mats on the table". These are simpler activities that will bring a smile to your child's face as he/she only concern is to help Mummy/Daddy.
Learning Academically Through Play
Toddlers learn through play. Colors can be learnt at stage 4. Colored toys are a quick way of teaching. Painting encourages creative ways. Finger painting is exciting. We can now learn to count - 1 block + 1 block = 2 blocks. A counting frame is valuable. As your child approaches age 5, he/she is more independent and more self-centered. Your child can become defiant and would prefer to have his/her own way. It is just a phase. This too shall pass. An interest would be shown in educational shows and cartoons. There is greater understanding and appreciation as laughter is heard during cartoons.
Your child now has to learn to be sociable. Sharing toys is the first step. It is easiest if he/she learns to share with you first. So set the example. "Here is some of Mummy's ice cream", "Here are some of my grapes", "Would you like one of my bananas?" Then Mummy asks, "May I play with your toy car, your doll, your pencil?", "Can I have a cookie?". As the child is more familiar with you, sharing becomes easy, because of the bond. Sharing with friends on play-dates may be a little more difficult but constant coaxing will persevere in the end.
Reading attracts your 5 year olds. Choose books that are visually appealing. Reading to your child daily becomes a pleasure. Soon he/she will be reading on his/her own. How exciting!
We, as parents need to appreciate our toddlers at every stage. We need to continuously embrace the moment as it quickly fades into the past. Enjoy the present with your child and all the wonderful discoveries to be made.
ENJOY THE JOURNEY AND REMAIN SANE!
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