5 New Year's Resolutions for Parents of Toddlers

Resolve to see the world through your toddler's eyes this year.

Parenting a young child can be trying -- either your doing battle over the latest trouble your toddler wants to get into, or you're going from task to task with little time to stop and enjoy the process. This year, resolve to make parenting a more rewarding experience. Start with these five. 

Learn how to keep your cool.

Kristina Hernandez

Being a parent of a toddler means testing the extent of your patience on a regular basis. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially at the end of a long day when you’ve been dealing with a small child, a work environment, or just general adult responsibilities for 10 or more hours. The best way to stay under control when you’ve reached your limit and a toddler decides it’s time for a tantrum? Self care. Make sure that you take time to take care for yourself as often as possible, even if it means paying for a babysitter or asking a family member to take over for a few hours a week. Some moms and dads find that getting up early to have some peace and quiet or even mediate in the morning makes a huge difference in their ability to manage the bumps that regularly come with parenting a toddler.

Go at the toddler's pace.

While it may not be possible when you’re rushing out the door to get your little one to daycare so you can make it to work on time, carve out opportunities when you can let your toddler set the pace for the day. While it may be difficult and frustrating at first, try "slow parenting," allowing your toddler to take her time and get distracted. The experience of slowing down will likely be as rewarding (if not more rewarding) for you as it is for your toddler. 

See the world through your toddler's eyes.

While toddlers have been keenly aware of what's going on around them for sometime now, once they are mobile, they are discovering a whole new world. One of the most amazing aspects of being a parent is having the opportunity to experience "firsts" through a young child's eyes, so give yourself permission to suspend what you know about the world and get excited about everything that is new and amazing to your child. 

Allow your toddler to gain independence.

Letting go of helping your toddler with every aspect of daily life can be hard for many parents – after all, you’ve been catering to their every need for two years now. But toddlers are ready for freedom – a little bit anyway – and it’s now your job to guide them and allow them to make some mistakes (while keeping them safe, of course) as they learn how to navigate new obstacles and master new skills. Bonus: As your child learns more and becomes more independent, you can be more hands-off.

Give them more experiences, and buy them less stuff.

As a parent of a toddler, you likely feel like your house is becoming a storage container for a forever-increasing number of plastic toys that light up and make noise. This year, resolve to buy less stuff for your toddler and give them more experiences that will broaden their understanding of the world. Music or sports classes, trips to the zoo, museums, and nature preserves, and special events like kiddie concerts are great options in lieu of another toy for a birthday or holiday gift.

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