The Power of Routines for Taming Toddler Energy.
“Silence is Golden. Unless You Have a Toddler…Then It’s Just Suspicious”
We all accept that toddlers are high energy little beings. Sometimes that energizer bunny craziness can just feel overwhelming for parents every day, so structure goes by the wayside. Do not underestimate the power of routines for taming toddler energy. These expert parenting tips will help you tame the chaos.
The Power of Routines for Taming Toddler Energy.
Let’s first get real with ourselves and ask: Is it possible that your toddler has been trained (by you) that the rules of your home are open to negotiation?
In other words, “Are You for Sale?”
Being for sale means that you’ve allowed your child’s pleading, whining, or negotiating to get the best of you. When your child sniffs weakness, it gets exploited, and chaos ensues.
The good news? With just a few little adjustments, it’s within your power to regain harmony in your household. The best way to get started is to create and implement a routine that you stick with.
The Power of Routines.
Toddlers get a sense of security and stability when they know how their day will unfold. This study for example, mentions how simply having a set bedtime for toddlers can result in their optimal health development, psychological wellbeing, and happy disposition.
Routines give children the dependable environment they need to create positive habits that serve them well as they get older, when life becomes a little more challenging. Sticking to a routine in your home cultivates the framework for learning responsible behavior.
How to Establish a Routine
Pay Attention to Your Child’s Natural Activity Rhythm, Then Stay Flexible as It Changes
You might notice there are specific times of the day when your toddler prefers to do certain activities. Maybe he or she gets tired around 10 a.m. This would be the perfect time to for a nap. If your toddler has endless amounts of energy right after lunchtime, provide active toddler activities. Every child is different, and the toddler phase is everchanging. Tap into whatever your child’s patterns are and come up with your routine from there.
Be Consistent with Sleep Times, Including Wake-Up Time & Bedtime. Use Flexibility with Naptime
The toddler age is one of rapid changes. This age group deals with teething, nightmares, growth spurts and more. Being flexible with naptime is a tool we often overlook for getting kids to sleep through the night.
There will be nights your child is tired at 7 pm and sleeps until past 8 am. During growth spurts, a child can sleep soundly for 12-14 hours. But while teething, a toddler may have interrupted sleep.
The key is to keep your routine for nighttime and wake-up times as consistent as possible. Naps are an adjustable tool based on what phase your child is in and the amount of sleep they had the night before. Use naps to manage cranky moods and take naps away for sleep-training kids to get a solid, uninterrupted night of sleep.
Keep Meals Consistent
Mealtimes also need to be as consistent as possible. Focus on giving your child three complete meals a day and one to two snacks including lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy grains. Establishing a guideline for mealtimes every day gives your child a positive association with food as they know when it’s coming. The power of routines with meals, is that it leads to positive eating habits in the future.
Schedule Some Down Time
Have a planned routine of scheduled activities for toddlers that are quiet yet still fun to do. Choices to fill this time are toddler-level puzzles, coloring books, or reading. Great moments for this are either after a snack or dinner so your toddler comes to depend on this time to take the energy level down a bit.
Adapt to Disruptions
Sometimes things come up that you just can’t help. It could be grandma staying overnight for a few days, your child getting sick, or fun toddler activities like day trip to the aquarium. When things pop up, try to keep to the schedule as best as you can, but also be realistic. For example, if your child is sick, they might need more sleep that day. That’s fine. Let them do what’s best for them. When the disruption passes, revert back to ´the power of routines for taming toddler energy´.
Discuss the Routine with Your Child
If this is something new you’re looking to implement, make sure you explain your expectations and then consistently back them up with action. That’s the beauty of a routine. Everyone knows what to expect and that translates to less stress and chaos for you.
Explain why you have the sleep routines you’ve created and the meal routines and the downtime. Then invite your child to offer their thoughts and take your child’s opinions into consideration. By partnering with your child, your routine will go much more smoothly.
That last tip is golden for the power of routines for taming toddler energy. Getting your kids involved in the process of creating the family routines gives them ownership over it and that translates to success for everyone. As part of the decision process, they will help keep you all consistent.
Essential Tips to Remember When Creating Routines
- Don’t be for sale—create your bottom line and stick with it consistently.
- Start small and work your way up; start with bedtime and enforce the rules with little to no exceptions.
- Realize your child will have meltdowns, and that’s okay. With your steady execution, children learn that none of your rules are negotiable just because they don’t like them. The more you stay strong, the quicker they will adjust.
- Praise your child for following the rules, but don’t reward them. They need to know what they are doing is right, but they shouldn’t get a prize or present for it. Then a reward becomes expected for simply going to bed on time, which creates its own set of problems.
- Always be available for questions and discussion. Although you shouldn’t bend your bottom line, you should still have open communication with your child.
Kids of all ages truly crave routine and a home life that is dependable and consistent. They are looking for a parent who is a leader, one who guides them in the right direction. Kids feel lost without the push of a simple goal staring them in the face.
About the Author:
Sue Donnellan is a Parenting Specialist, Wife, Mom to 4 (including surprise triplets), Founder of 3 Businesses and Award-Winning Bestselling Author
Her platform Ask Mom Parenting evolved after years of mentoring other parents who sought ways to make parenting easier, more effective, and less thankless.
Sue’s partnership parenting techniques have become sought after for quickly bringing harmony into your home.
With the insights of a seasoned pro, whose four kids are now grown, she’s curated the insider-information that saves parents from figuring it all out for themselves.
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Or purchase her proven parenting playbook…the award-winning bestseller, Secrets to Parenting Without Giving a F^ck: