Being a parent to a toddler may be the most trying point in a person’s life. Besides the fact that a toddler is in constant need of something, they are also mobile which creates other issues as well. Toddlers are naturally curious because everything is new to them and they want to learn. Toddlers are continually and perpetually getting into things because of their curiosity, and they are not easy to teach. When a baby is a newborn it is needy – he/she needs milk from his/her mother or formula (which ever), they need their diaper changed, and they need to cuddled and nurtured by their families. There is a lot of responsibility on having infants – including not getting enough sleep, – but add mobility to the mix and there you have a toddler. Teaching a toddler is a full time job and there are many resources out there to help the process, but the biggest and most important is to remember to be patient, a toddler will test ones patience very quickly.
Being a parent of a toddler there is a lot more responsibility required for the child’s well-being. A toddler is like a giant sponge and they watch everything and everyone around them to learn how to do things, and of course the people that they are around the most (in most cases) are their parents and family; therefore, it is easy to say that they are learning from the parent. In example if a toddler sees his father cuss repeatedly then it may be safe to assume that the toddler will learn that profane language. According to Parenting.com, an online magazine of the popular magazine:
“Toddlers as young as 18 months can begin to grasp the rules of politeness. They may not fully understand what you’re teaching them, but you can:
Put good manners in context. Thinking about other people’s feelings is the root of polite behavior. So explain to your child that when you help your neighbor hunt for her lost keys at the playground, she feels good and so do you. Point out how kind the cashier is at the supermarket. Talking to young children about caring for others helps them absorb this value, even without fully understanding it” (“Learning manners”).
What the authors of this article, which was the editors of Parenting Magazine, intend to teach their consumers (parents of toddlers) how to teach their children how to learn manners and they intend to teach them through example.
Parents sometimes forget how to be a parent and focus on the negative qualities that their toddler is showing such as: throwing a temper-tantrum, flagrantly disobeying a parent, or even telling a parent, “No.” Sometimes it is easy to forget that the child is learning from parental reactions and even their own feelings on how to do things. On the Mayo Clinic’s website, a website dedicated to general healthcare, they have tips for parenting toddlers, and in an article titled Parenting tips: How to improve toddler behavior they describe why toddlers act out:
“Life can be frustrating for toddlers. Though often eager to show their independence, toddlers may not be able to move as swiftly as they’d like or effectively communicate their needs. This combination can easily lead to tantrums and misbehavior. But you can teach your toddler to behave well by providing love, attention, praise, encouragement and a degree of routine. Consider these practical parenting tips” (Mayo Clinic, 2011).
The Mayo Clinic is pointing out that toddlers know what they want, but they do not know how to show what it is that they need effectively. It is up to us as parents to learn what they need from their behaviors, but it is also very important for us to teach them exactly how to communicate what it is that they want or need in a respectable manner. Toddlers will do whatever they are taught; this is a very critical stage in their development and I find it very important to teach my child the proper and respectable way of doing things.
I am not going to say that the best solution for raising a child is to buy it stuff, but at the same time it does help. Since toddlers are in that time critical stage of finding independence from parents and learning how to abide by Mommy and Daddies rules, it might behoove the average parent to help with aides. I am not advocating to go out and buy a toddler a toy every time they do something right, but I am talking about teaching aides such as: Elmo from Sesame Street movies. The reasoning behind the movies is the concept of music and colors is an excellent cognitive teacher that helps the average child to learn. According to the website What to Expect, toddlers learn is to learn through song and singing.
“The best way to learn — and retain — concepts like colors, body parts, and letters is to sing (and sing and sing) about them. The ABC song is a classic, but ‘Five Little Ducks’ and the ‘Hokey Pokey’ are also easy ways to teach a tot about numbers and left and right” (What To Expect).
Singing to our children will also help them pick up a skill later in life, possibly. Singing and music is an excellent way to have an outlet for frustrations and even joy! It says in the Bible to “Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth” – Psalm 96:1. Singing makes the Lord happy!
I have my own toddler and we use many different techniques to try and mold him into a responsible and productive member of society. At times my son is very trying. He tests all the situations that he can to see what he can get away with. The biggest thing that I have noticed is to stay firm. Staying firm works the best with teaching a child to have certain behaviors modified. It is important to be their friend, but at the same time it is very important to be the parent; being the parent sometimes means not being liked and not being their “friend.” I find this to be the hardest thing, and I find myself very weak at times, giving in to my son, and letting him do what it is that he wanted to do in the first place. I believe it to be the human element of being a parent; which is being the friend and not the parent because I do not want to see them sad.
The most important factor in having a toddler (insert any other name for a child here as well) is patience; which has been referenced several times throughout history, from Bible times on. Being patient is sometimes the very hardest thing to do in parenting. Toddlers need a patient parent. Not always the easiest thing to do. Through love, encouragement, praise, explanation, and song a parent can demonstrate patience and teach their toddler how to be a well-rounded individual. With all of this a toddler will move on from the bottle stages and into the school-aged seamlessly by learning how to talk, eat by themselves, go to the potty, and be somewhat independent. This takes patience and will require much self-control on the parent’s parts.
Mayo Clinic. (2011, Feb 11). Parenting tips: How to improve toddler behavior. Retrieved from
Parenting Magazine. Learning manners. (n.d.). Retrieved from
What To Expect. (n.d.). The benefits of toddler music. Retrieved from http://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler/toddler-learning/toddler-music.aspx