Playful Parenting Tips for Handling Toddlers
If you are reading this, surely you wish to know how great you are at playful parenting. Well, after you are finished reading, you will definitely get an idea as to how playful as a parent you really are.Playful parenting is an emerging parenting style which results into effective parenting. We all know how important role play and laughter plays in a family relationship.
Playful parenting helps you in effective parenting and at the same time it reduces stress and increases the enjoyment of parenting. Playful parenting is an emerging and effective parenting style. Let’s learn more about playful parenting and some playful parenting tips.
We as parents generally use phrases like Don’t run… Noooo… You have to listen to me… Keep your toys back… Wash your hands… Talk softly… You are not allowed to touch this… I’ll play with you later…You can do this when you grow up.. and many more…
We use these phrases because we care about our little ones and fear that they might get hurt; or when we are in a rush; or when we are exhausted. We keep thinking about the mess it might create or any of these reasons combined. But by doing this we fail to realize the impact it may cause on the little minds. Playful parenting surely helps in avoiding these quick fixes and help in the holistic development and effective parenting of the child.
Toddlers are too young to understand the deeper concern we have when we ask them not to do something. They are young souls who take words and phrases very literally. So if we continuously keep saying no for everything they do, we might save some mess being created in the house but we could also end up in delaying the growth of our toddler’s decision-making ability.
As parents or caretakers we have to understand that when we nag, we point at all the wrongs the toddler is up to and the little mind may feel that he/she is not worthy because he/she couldn’t perform a certain task as was expected out of him/her; or couldn’t keep his/her parents happy. Playful parenting can help in getting your point across without affecting their eagerness to learn and make mistakes.By adopting this effective parenting style you will help your toddler to be happy,confident and capable.
Of course, we cannot allow them to do whatever they want all the time but we can be a little liberal with activities which might be fun for them and are safe for them to play with. Let them create a little mess, they have a right to do it. Once they grow up you’ll not see them using your kajal on their face or cleaning the house with daddy’s shirt.
If you really want your toddler to listen to you and be happy at the same time you’ll have to deploy playful parenting at all times. Playful parenting is a huge part of effective parenting.
Playful parenting can teach your toddler a lot more things than nagging or scolding will. Be a role model to your toddler. If your toddler sees you shouting or nagging all the time, he will learn that too.But effective parenting style can bring across your point easily.
For being a playful parent the first and foremost thing to decide are your priorities.
Decide what needs to be done and what can wait. Decide whether cleaning kitchen counter is important or going with your toddler when he wants to show you an ant climbing a wall is important. It might be something very silly but it might be something your toddler was amused with and wanted to share with you. Be your toddler’s friend.
Laugh, jump, shout, be crazy, be happy and watch your toddler smiling and giggling. What else can make your day better? The clean laundry, properly done bed, empty dishwasher will not give you the satisfaction that your toddler enjoying his time with you will.
Lawrence Cohen, a Massachusetts, USA based psychologist who wrote the book on the subject, Playful Parenting says:
“We need to spend more time joining children where they live, instead of all the time dragging them into our world, which is the world of schedules, chores and planned activities.”
Play is the best way to bond with a child especially a toddler. This is why playful parenting is important. This bond of play mixed with affection that you create today will help you and your child later on to be open and discuss about each and everything. This bond fostered with playful parenting will help you to create a happy family relationship.
Generally, in our lives, we just go along with the flow; doing what felt right then and there. But with parenting we cannot risk it. What you teach your toddler today, you cannot undo it later. Toddlers copy everything they see, that is how they learn. So be very careful about your reactions when they are around you. If you are calm and unruffled, your toddler will develop the same attributes
To be a playful parent, think of all the things you would not do as an adult – and do them all.
Here, I have listed the Top Six situations and how you can make changes in your habits to deploy playful parenting:
Morning Time – playful parenting tips when toddler is not willing to get ready:
Your toddler doesn’t want to get ready; is not ready to brush, to get into shower, to dress up. What we as a parent generally do is either scream at the top of our voice or scare them. But does that really work? Do you like those teary eyes or scary face? Well it never worked for me so I had to think of an alternative. What worked for my 2-year-old son was play. Playful parenting helped me getting him ready 30 minutes before time.
For instance, there were days when he would not want to go into the shower. I would then let him take few of his friends (animal toys; he is an animal lover) with him in the shower, or someday I’d ask him to raise his hands and I’d say, Oh my God!! You need a shower sweetheart, let’s go. He would laugh and giggle and ask me to smell again and again and would get into the shower happily. Playful parenting is effective only when you innovate.
Screaming – playful parenting tips for a whiny, tired toddlers who cannot express emotions in words:
Your toddler is protesting about each and everything. He is whiny, tired and is shouting even if you say a word to him. Well then don’t say anything. Yes, silence too is a part of playful parenting. Just try making some super-silly facial expressions. A shocked face or a sad face or an amused one and sooner than you think, those screams will turn into giggles and laughs.
Toy cleanup – playful parenting tips when your toddler does not want to tidy his room:
Your toddler never keeps his toys back in the toy box. You keep on asking him to do it but in the end it is you who has to do it. Try a game the next time. Tell your toddler that a particular toy, say a car or a building block is being stubborn and is not listening to you and ask him if he can help;
As soon as he gets the idea that he has the power and even mom couldn’t do it, you will be amazed at how quickly he’ll pick the toy and bring it to you. That will show you the magic of playful parenting at work. Don’t forget to praise him for the job he has done and stay there till he brings back other stubborn toys. If he leaves few toys, put them back without saying anything to him.
Food-time battle – playful parenting tips when you find leftovers on the toddlers plate:
Your toddler is hungry; it’s his favorite food; still he is not ready to eat it. Of course it can be frustrating. I remember my son used to run away and I had to run behind him all over the house to make him eat. Still, in spite of all the efforts I used to take, there were always leftovers on the plate. Nutrition is an important part of the toddlers’ growth and just because he is not eating, does not mean that he does not need it.
To complete this task of him getting fed properly, I started involving him in the preparation and serving of the meal. It worked really well. I used to ask him to bring me a spoon or help me in washing vegetables. He loved doing it. He felt as if he was playing a very important role in the kitchen. And the food-time battle was no more there. Playful parenting worked for me.
Bedtime – playful parenting tips to persuade your toddler to do certain task:
You want your little one to brush before going to the bed, but he/she is too busy playing and not at all interested. Again, use playful parenting skills and think of a game like let’s take turns. Let your little one brush your teeth and then it’s your turn. Brush his teeth. Bingo! Job done! Thank you playful parenting! 😛
Grocery Store – playful parenting tips to avoid toddlers meltdown in public:
Most of us have been in an embarrassing situation at the grocery store because our kid starts throwing tantrums. What we generally do is shh them and if even that doesn’t work we leave the store as quickly as possible. Let’s try something different next time when we go shopping. Let’s try playful parenting and narrate a story. A story which includes all the things you need to buy and your toddler being the hero who needs to help mommy in finding stuff.
This play-way works awesome with my two-year old. You may try rhymes or some other activity as part of your playful parenting skills that is your toddler’s all-time favorite.
Playful parenting will not only energize you, it will also strengthen your bond with your toddler and family. Playful parenting will also help in the better development of your toddler.
Parenting is not a burden, it is a journey. A journey where you act as a potter shaping your toddler’s future. Take efforts to make this journey as joyous as possible. Live each and every moment of playful parenting. It will always be helpful if you have a positive attitude towards your toddler’s development and requirements. Avoid saying no to your toddler to the extent possible. Be fun, be silly, be stupid, be a child again.
Make an effort to increase the enjoyment of parenting through playful parenting.
Be a playful parent. Playful parenting is an effective parenting style that will help you nurture your family relationship and keep your toddler happy. Hope this article about playful parenting turns out to be useful. Do share your thoughts as parents, as readers and as critics.