Taking care of a toddler, whether a boy or a girl, is an exhausting, annoying, confusing and fulfilling experience, all at the same time. Ask somebody who has a toddler and they’ll tell you — oh no, wait, if they have a toddler, they would probably not have the time to share stuff with you; and even if they do, they’ll be too confused about their feelings and routines, and just generally about life!
First things first…
If you’re reading this, I’d presume you either have a toddler and are going through frustration that he/she builds in your nerves every minute of the day; or are longing to have a child to experience the ‘charm’ of parenthood, believing to be fully prepared for it. Well if it’s the latter, I’d like to catch up with you once your bundle of joy gets into this world. No no.. it’s not that I’m too busy right now; it’s just that it’s going to be a lot more fun to talk about your ‘joy’ once you have it with you.
If it’s the former, let me ask you this first: do you constantly struggle to get your toddler to behave in a way that’s convenient for you, and in ways that you believe he/she should adopt in order to live a happy, healthy and successful life?
Yes? Okay, you’re a great parent! You’re doing the best that you can, and you sure want the best for your child. As adults, we certainly know more than children, and we should be giving them lessons about life. But there are certain aspects of most toddlers’ personality that are naturally shaped to optimise their overall experience in this world.
So instead of us giving life lessons to them, let’s take a look at how toddlers unknowingly and continuously give life lessons to us through the way they behave.
Go full steam to get what you want
Familiar with the idea of putting all your precious or delicate items on a higher shelf, so your toddler cannot reach it or destroy it? Also familiar with suddenly finding your toddler piling up objects right in front of that shelf and climbing on them to reach that item? They know you’ll be mad when you find out. They even know they might trip over or lose balance and fall down to badly injure themselves. But do they seem to care? Not the tiniest bit! They’ll go for it full steam because that item is their goal, and they’ll give in all they’ve got to achieve that goal.
Sometimes in life, we really need to go full steam to get what we want, without caring about the social, cultural, material or even financial consequences of our act. If you want it, you go get it!
Sleep less, stay up more
There’s no comparison to the delight a mother gets when her toddler finally goes to sleep. That peace in the air as he/she dozes off, that innocence on the child’s face, that silence that enables you to think again, that satisfaction that you made it through the day, all these are moments to live for!
Have you been there? I’m sure you have — when you suddenly feel so much freedom that you cannot choose whether you want to wash your face, clean up the house, cook good food or just have a chocolate, learn a new language or perhaps make an invention! And while you keep dreaming and relishing the peace, your child wakes up. Oops, time’s up!
We generally assume that children need more sleep than adults. But for some reason, we observe that toddlers sleep very less (if they do at all, for those who feel that way), and like to stay up more. In a fast paced world, this is actually a good thing, especially if we’re able to wake up full of energy every time. It reflects that our mind and body are healthy, and that we’re full of spirit to live and grow. Not sure how toddlers manage to do this, but that’s certainly a lesson to be taken from them.
Forgive easily, patch up and move on
Ever scolded your child really bad over something and seen them walk away in disappointment? Then seen them come back to you after just few minutes to ask for a packet of chips, as if nothing happened?
Toddlers forgive and forget easily, and that’s not just because they’re dependent on you. They do it out of the purity of their hearts. They make you realize that even though you may have had a quarrel, you should let it go and move on as soon as you can.
If we as adults can adopt this attitude, we’d be able to maintain much happier and healthier relationships, whether it’s about our relationship with our spouse, our boss, our friends or even our parents.
Eat smaller portions scattered throughout the day
Have you had it enough with running after your toddler to put that last piece of chicken in their mouth? Are you fed up of listening to their refusals to eat every time you prepare a delicious dinner? Do you notice that they generally consume smaller portions scattered throughout the day, no matter how hard you try to fix them on 3 proper meal timings?
They may be doing that just because they’re too occupied to do or wanting to do something else (or perhaps even merely out of spite). But studies have shown that scattering meals throughout the day in small portions is actually beneficial for health. According to American Society for Nutrition, having small and frequent meals as opposed to the traditional 3 meals a day increases satiety and triggers healthy weight loss.
Be curious and ask questions fearlessly
Here’s a big one! Does your toddler keep asking questions that, no matter how simple, make you crack your head to come up with an answer they can understand? Okay, that’s a very long question itself! But believe me, it’s a very simple question and I bet most of you are nodding their heads in agreement right now.
The curiosity toddlers have that makes them keep on asking questions is actually a sign of their intelligence. Their brain is trying to build logic and concepts to be able to make sense out of everything around them.
As we grow, we tend to loose this potential of wanting to comprehend everything that’s happening around us. We have so much on our minds already that we’re not bothered to understand what’s not easily explainable (or rather questionable). Perhaps maintaining our level of curiosity like that of a toddler could help us in making better progress in life.
So what did we learn here?
Next time your toddler behaves in one of the ways mentioned above, let’s secretly take life lessons from them, while at the same time, continuing to struggle to ‘discipline’ them of course.