As a mother, I often wonder if I’m saying and doing the right things. Our children learn so much from watching and listening and most of us worry whether we’re getting it right (I know I do at least).
I’m not sure what other toddlers are like, but I know Joktavious has these moods when he gets really tired and something he is trying to use isn’t working properly he drops it on the ground (sometimes throwing it, he has quite a temper that we are working hard to help him learn to handle, but that’s another post for another day) and just bursts into tears. He wears the most heartbreaking face and just cries.
These moments can be overwhelming for both him and me, so I just take a deep breath, and calmly tell him everything is going to be fine and ask him to show me what the problem is. Usually it’s something incredibly simple, like the cap won’t go back on the water bottle, or he wanted to take the cushion off the couch and it got stuck so he couldn’t move it (ah, the struggles of toddlerhood). He show’s me through tears and his little sounds he makes, he’s still fairly non verbal but we usually figure it out and then everything is alright in his little world again.
I’ve noticed the more I get into his world and share that time with him the more responsive he is and quicker he calms down. Usually all he needs is to know that I’m right there and he’ll get through this because mommy loves him.
So, I put together a list of 10 things that I’ve been trying to say to encourage him and build him up to be the strong, confident young man I know he can be.
A quick thought on that first though, have you ever realized how amazing it is that we have this opportunity? as parents we are the builders of the next generation. We are laying the foundational building blocks for our children to build their lives and relationships on. It’s mind boggling (and sometimes terrifying) how important our job is.
Some of these are probably fairly common and natural for most parents. I probably say I love you to Joktavious every ten minutes. Especially in those moments where he’s being goofy and then stops and looks up at me and just smiles. If you feel that overwhelming swell of emotion, you should speak it so they hear it. (on another note, I think I will probably melt into a puddle of happiness and tears when I hear him say it for the first time)
It may seem silly to compliment on something tiny, like putting a square block into a square hole, or successfully stacking a block onto another bock, but it really isn’t, and chances are you already know this, as parents we tend to get overly excited when they start stacking things and working things out in their little brains. “Oh my gosh, did you see that?! and he’s ONLY 6 months! he’s going to be a GENIUS” (you know that feeling of parental pride, don’t try to deny it!). But I’ve found that the more over exaggerated we are with praise, the more our son wants to do, there is that desire deep down inside of him to impress us and please us, and I want him to know that I am proud of every little thing he is learning and doing (besides throwing tantrums, but you know what I mean). I want him to know I am proud of him, I want him to have that confidence as he’s growing up that his parents love him and believe in him.
Anyway, here are a list of 10 positive things to tell your toddler.
1. I love you
2. You are doing so good.
3. Wow, you are so helpful!
4. You are amazing!
6. Daddy/Mommy loves you too.
7. You are so appreciated.
8. I am so thankful for you.
9. You make my heart happy.
10. I love seeing you so happy
I’m sure we could add many more to this list. But there are 10 to get you started. I love words, and I try to use them as much as possible around Joktavious so he will start being more verbal himself. I have been trying to talk more with him which is what got me thinking about this topic in the first place. So far, it’s more of a one sided conversation, but he still communicates, either his little toddler talking sounds or body language, we don’t sign, but we have our own little way of communicating and I understand him most the time besides when he is overly frustrated and I have to guess what he is asking for. But I know that before long he’ll be talking up a storm (using actual words, more than dada, mama, meow, etc..)