Happy Tuesday everyone. We are almost half way through the week. YAY!! I am so ready for a nice and relaxing weekend. This past weekend was so busy with all the fun Easter festivities I am in much need of a quiet weekend. Okay, my life is never quiet, but at least we don’t have any plans.
Seriously, this face gets me every time. I can’t get enough of it. I just love her so much!!
And of course, this little sweetie makes my happy. She is my workout buddy. Look at those muscles.
I have gotten a ton of emails and messages asking about how I have taught my girls to be well behaved. So, I thought this is a perfect topic for today’s Toddler Tuesday post.
Typically, I would simply respond thank you, I don’t know how it happened. But once I thought about it I do know what it is that makes my girls behave so well, I take the time to teach them right from wrong. Taking the time is the number one thing I do. My girls don’t have to act out to get my attention they have it. They are my world and they know it.
Yes, it is not easy but it is worth it. I know when I put the hard work in at home I will have wonderful girls when we are out and about. It is staying consistent, having a routine, following through, teaching by example, age doesn’t matter, and being there whenever they need me.
Consistency: This one is very important. When you are teaching a child what is expected of them the rules need to stay the same no matter where or what you are doing. My girls always know what we expect of them; whether we are at home, the mall, grandparents, etc. Here is a simple example: Our girls are not allowed to stand on chairs, couches, etc. Therefore, no matter where we are they are not going to do this. Another example would be when we are out in public our girls either walk nicely and stay by us or they ride in the stroller. There is no other options and they know it. Sometimes sticking to your rules are not easy and other people may not understand, but you have to do what it right for your child and I want my girls to be good girls throughout their life.
Routine: I am not a huge fan of schedules because that word makes it sound so structured and with four children I still have to have some flexibility. But I do know my girls do best when our routine doesn’t vary too much. I try to plan things around nap time. Isabella definitely still needs hers and functions much better when well rested. I try to have McKenzie and McKayla take both their naps in their cribs, but that doesn’t always happen. So, my goal is to at least have one of their naps in their crib and that works for us.
Following Through: This is another important one. You can’t make empty threats; children are smart and they will start to catch on. This goes back to putting the time into being a parent. It is much easier to make a threat and not follow through, but you will only get out what you put in. Typically, I give my girls two options. I might say you can either stop doing what you are doing or you can go in time out (I don’t give many timeouts any more because they typically choose the right one. My girls learned quickly Mommy means business.). Or I might say if you cannot work this out I will put the game away. This is a great way to let your children feel they have choices. I used this is the example in being consistent with the walking by us. If I tell my girls they must walk by us or go in the stroller I must stay consistent. If my girls start running or doing something inappropriate I will put them in the stroller even if it is a fight. Remember parenting is not easy.
Teaching by Example: I know I keep saying this, but this might be the most important. I want my girls to be kind, caring, and loving, I try to do this in my everyday life. I want my girls to see what it is to be a good person. Another way I might teach by example is to always say please and thank you. I want my girls to have good manners and the best way to teach them is by having them myself. I will also show them what they should do when they are sharing or playing. Example: If Sophia wants what Isabella has I would tell Sophia to say, “Isabella when you are done playing with _____ will you please give it to me”. Then I have Sophia repeat it. This is working really well. I love over hearing my girls speak like this to each other.
Age Doesn’t Matter: This is another big one. What I mean by age doesn’t matter is not matter how old my girls are they have to be kind, caring, respectful, and share. I never use the line “they are only two or one”. It doesn’t matter. There is no biting, hitting, etc. We treat each other kindly. The first 5 years are the most important a child’s life. I don’t even let the babies take things from their sisters and vice versa. Just because they don’t understand Sophia and Isabella cannot take things from the babies. They can’t take something from anyone, period. I want Isabella and Sophia to know you need to be respectful of everyone no matter how old they are. Going back to the stroller example: When Isabella was 1 she was still expected to stay by us or ride in the stroller. By starting this at such a young age we have eliminated any problems. The earlier you begin teaching your children right and wrong the easier it will be. . Once a child learns what they can get away with they will continue trying it. I have seen so many parents struggle once their child is 2 or 3 and it is not fun. The child has learned they can get away with the bad behavior and parents have a lot more work to do. They basically have to undo everything. Not fun.
Being There Whenever my Girls Need Me: Again this is important because many children act out simply to get attention. Children will take any attention they can get whether it is positive or negative. It is also important to let you children have some space; you have to find a happy medium. I always try to give positive reinforcement as much as I can. When I see my girls doing something nice I will praise them for it. I want them to know that I notice all the good things they do. I don’t want to focus on the negative. I try to keep our house positive.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when parents say I can’t get mu kids to do blank. I mean seriously. I understand if they older, but when they are young you are the parent; bottom line. It may not be easy, but nobody said parenting was going to be easy. I also don’t make excuses for my girls. You treat someone badly you have to face the consequences.
One quote I will always remember: “If your toddler isn’t having tantrums you aren’t doing your job.” But I will say once you establish your rules and your children know them the tantrums will lessen. We do not have many tantrums in our house, but that is because our girls know what to expect and they know what they are allowed to do. Again this goes back to starting when they are young, don’t wait until you have a problem.
Okay, that was a lot of information, but it really is not as difficult as it sounds once you set up your rules. Decide what is important to you and focus on that. I have to say it sounds as though we run a tight ship around here, but we really don’t. I know I keep saying this, but since my girls know the rules we don’t have many problems and when we are out in public, they are amazing.
Put in the time with your children and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. Your children are worth every minute. Once, you have the rules established you can enjoy your children so much more. We have a ton of fun together and leaving the house is “easy peasy” with my big girls (can’t say the same for the babies, just yet). Honestly, I don’t have to do much disciplining throughout the day anymore.
In the Comments Below:
- Add anything you would like to this list. Let’s help each other be better parents.