Mama, I understand that it is hard to Google anything to find what you need to know when raising toddlers for the first time. Well, you've come to the right place. I will tell you two important things that you need to know as a parent.
The number one thing to remember as a parent is to stay consistent. It is important to stay consistent in your actions, words, and follow through. Now, I'm not saying your words need to be the same every day.. but it is important to use the right tone and be on the same page as your spouse in how this is going to be portrayed.
The things that you do as a parent affect our children--sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. So, being consistent in how we act, even if it isn't directly towards our child, it's very important. They are always watching, listening, and aware. A good example is talking on the phone with a friend-- are you talking the way you'd want your children to talk? Are you saying bad things about one of their loved ones that you normally wouldn't say directly to the child? Be aware of your actions, words, and follow through.
Consistency is important in many aspects of parenting. One way is being consistent on your follow through and by follow through I mean when the child's behavior needs to be redirected. Are you consistent in how you handle these situations? Is your spouse on the same page as you on how this should be handled? I understand, especially for new parents, that this can be a struggle. Each parent grew up differently and have a different way of looking at parenting. It is important to calmly discuss how these things should be handled. If each parent is handling these situations differently, then the child is going to get confused--confusion can lead to lashing-out for any kind of attention.
Another important things to remember as parents is that we need to model lifestyle choices that we want them to follow. For example; if you are eating cake at lunch and you serve fruits and vegetables to your children at lunch. This is a confusing message to them. They will probably develop your way of living and your habits as they grow older. This is not to say they will eat cake every day for lunch or that this will happen in every situation-- but they are definitely watching and learning by what you do.
As a mother, this is something that I have had to develop over the years. I started slowly changing some of my habits which then directly affected my children's habits as they are still young and I can choose what they are having for snacks, etc.
First, I started by exercising five days per week. My children see me do this on a daily basis and sometimes they jump in with me. Later in the day we usually go outside and as they are running around, I've explained that this is exercise and it's healthy for their bodies--just like mommy does in the morning.
Another habit I have developed is taking a super drink every morning. This has directly affected them because I give it to them on a daily basis as well. In the beginning, they would ask what it is and I've explained that it has many vitamins that will make the inside of their body super-- like superman!
Remember mama, you are not alone in this-- you have your spouse, mother, sister, and an entire community of mothers that you can find on Facebook. Consistency is important but it is also difficult. I know firsthand that consistency can be something that starts, but then somehow, sometime it ends and we don't even know it happened-- chore charts, sticker charts, potty training, time outs, morning and bedtime routines. All of these things are great things--Do you have the power and will to be consistent and following through with all things parenting?
Don't forget to check out my guide for ways to take control of your well being.