We all know what is meant with the phrase "baby proofing" a home. What we really mean is how to "toddler proof" a home, when the baby that once stayed in one place is now crawling around the house, starting to stand and walk, and even opening doors, drawers and cabinets.
There are many resources on the topic of raising a toddler. Some that work is turning the toddler's attention into something else like a favorite toy, a new toy, your undivided attention to play peek-a-boo or the like to guide them away from something you don't want them to do, like opening doors that lead down to stairs, for example. Another is to pay attention to the times they do something "right" like taking a few steps on their own, for example, and give them attention like a hug or clapping for their efforts. We've all heard about positive reinforcement. It does work and your kids will know if you are genuine. Also, make the effort to stay calm and peaceful during spills, messes, and the like. Give a dignified atmosphere they can model. That is, they may be little beings, adding to your already full daily workload, but remember to keep in touch with your love for them and you will both appreciate each other's company.
Another repetitive behavior your toddler may use to test you is asking you to buy a toy, candy, etc. when you're out shopping with your toddler(s). Because you can't leave your little one(s) at home where they won't be able to bother you about buying more than you intended, you are basically stuck with carrying them around with you until they're old enough to be left at home where you can shop without their requests for you to buy them something. So until that age when they prefer to stay home and not have to shop with you, especially if you have boys, what do you do in the meantime? That is, how do you say, "no" to your toddler? One way is to say "yes" but add a phrase like "maybe in a few weeks" or "I'll think about it" or "wait for your birthday." That is, buy time, and before you know it, they will forget about the toy, etc. that they wanted. There are exceptions, however, and you will know if it's a toy, etc. that really means something to them.
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