Dads, are you guilty of making these 3 mistakes with your toddlers?
Dads, there’s no doubt in our minds that you’re an amazing parent. You might even be a superhero in the eyes of your young children, but are you guilty of making these little mistakes?
Recently, Megan Cottrell of NewParent.com shared an article that discusses three common mistakes that dads are making with their toddlers. They may be small but they can make a huge impact on your skills as a dad.
No one’s perfect, and as humans, we all make mistakes. It’s the ability to learn and fix our mistakes that makes someone a great parent. Check out our list, dads, and see if you’re guilty of making these three parenting slip-ups.
1. Being too serious
Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Toddler on the Block, says that dads needn’t be too serious with their toddlers. He suggests using a certain inflection when you speak with them. “You don’t want to sound silly, so when you talk to your toddler, your voice stays grown-up. But kids often respond better to a softer voice. Young children that age are attracted to sing-songy type language,” says Karp. “Men oftentimes are more hesitant to do that, but it makes [toddlers] feel more comforted.”
This doesn’t mean that you should abandon your stern deep inflected voice for good. In fact, that can be a bad idea all together because dads are best at using their stern voices to tame temper tantrums. Everyone has to be strict at some point and their tone of voice is a huge part of that.
The mistake that dads tend to make with toddlers is not loosening up after being stern. If you have to be strict, that’s fine. The problem comes afterwards when dads don’t soften up. Karp claims that you have to use your serious, strict voice sometimes but you “don’t have to be the big mean authority figure.” Try easing up after reprimanding your toddlers, dads!
2. Coasting through kid time
Laura Markham, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids claims that even after a long, grueling day at the office, dads shouldn’t “clock-out” during bonding time with the kids. Simply being present is something that can make a huge difference in a toddler’s development.
A common mistake that dads make with their toddlers is that they assume because their kids are young, spending time with them isn’t as important. Markham suggests that dads say to themselves:“I’m alive for this moment with this unique little person whom I’m blessed to have for a short time.”
“Your child feels your presence and stops being so whiny and demanding and starts cooperating with you more,” Markham claims. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking bonding time with your toddlers, dads!
3. Thinking Mommy is #1
For a dad, seeing the relationship a mother has with a newborn and young baby can be a little much. They may feel like Mom is #1 in their kid’s eyes because of how much work, effort, and time mom put into nursing their child.
This leads to a mistake that a lot of dads make: assuming kids only want Mom.
First of all, that idea is a little crazy, dads! So give yourself some credit. Your child loves you all the same and you’re crazy for thinking otherwise. If you’re still seeking assurance, Dr. Markham has a game that can ease your worries.
In the game, Mom calls to your toddler, and Dad humorously attempts to prevent the child from making it to Mom, always getting foiled by the little one’s strength or speed. “After three nights of playing the game, they won’t be worried that they’re being kept from mommy,” Markham claims. “Instead, they’ll be begging for daddy to put them to bed tonight.”
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