Mom gets all the accolades when it comes to raising the kids. Dad gets a tie. As a dad trying to survive life with kids, parenting advice usually comes from the mothers perspective. But what about when dad is at the helm? We surely do things differently, we have to. Kids need something a little different from us. Or perhaps they need the same things just in a different packaging.
7 ways Dad can survive Life with a Toddler
Patience is key with a toddler. Without it, you just have a tiny dictator running around screaming commands at you all day, with you (the Adult), screaming back. Arguing with a toddler is futile, they don’t even know if they are hot or cold half of the time. They can barely button their coat. I (the adult) have been buttoning my coat up for many, many years. I can even work the zipper, almost flawlessly. Patience is knowing when to ignore your toddler and when to just wait it out.
“One must have the patience of a three toed sloths fart”
Toddlers batteries, in part, seemingly run off of the attention that you give them. And as their parents, you have to give them as much as they need. The easiest way to do this is by talking with them. Kids love to talk and they talk…a lot. So ask about their day and wait for the amazing stories. Ask follow-up questions to get them to go into further detail. Their day may seem boring and mundane to you, but you’d be surprised at how your toddler views their world.
Tantrums are normal. Wanting to give up on life because they are throwing one of their tantrums is also normal. Take a deep breath and remember their still babies. They can’t control themselves most of the time. That’s evident in that they can’t even move without running. Find out what’s upsetting them. It’s usually over something trivial like they couldn’t catch the wind in their hand or the green crayon isn’t yellow. The tantrum will subside, unfortunately your sanity will too. Is it close to nap time? Do they even have a nap time?
Kids need to take naps. This is the single greatest invention in parenting. Not just for the healthy growth and blah blah blah of your toddler… But for your sanity. Without a nap parents have zero down time from the little Bastards that we love so much. And as they can control our entire existence… well, we just need a break.
While bonding with your kids, put the phone down. Whatever it is, it can wait. Do you know what the world did before mobile phones? We missed calls and the world went on. Before email, I had to wait days to get a message by snail mail, and then they had to wait days to hear from me. A conversation took over a month. Before texting you just had to remember what you were going to say. Can’t reach them on the phone? Gotta wait until you see them. I’m sure that text can wait for 10 minutes.
Establish personal boundaries early on. As they get older they get more annoying. Sure you’re infatuated with them now, but what about when you want to do things without them? I occasionally like the freedom to breathe my own air without sharing it with a 4 year old who is constantly a foot from my face. I would like to be able to walk without tripping over a toddler who thinks she is my shadow. In the case of my Kammy she literally wants to be inside of us (professional help with be sought after). Teach them to stay out of your bubble.
One of the most important things to remember at all times while surviving life with kids, is to keep your sense of humor. Kids are hilarious! They do and say the most inappropriate things. While at that moment it might be embarrassing, these are the things that make great stories and treasured memories later. Embrace this and act just as silly with your kids. They’ll appreciate it later and so will you.
Share some ways that you survive the battlefield with your kids..