Toddler to teenager and giving them room to grow
Toddler growth can be challenging for some
Toddlers explore the world through their senses. You may find that your babies are enchanted by bright, shiny, and colourful objects. Sparkles, lights or television fascinate them. Your toddler will also most likely love to make sounds and be very happy to crash pots and pans together. Toddlers experience a lot through touch and will seek to feel any and every object they can to feel.
You will find that once your babies and toddlers have explored touch they will explore through taste and smell. Unfortunately, you toddler will not yet possess discernment if they are really little. This means that they unknowingly endanger themselves. As parents we need to step in and protect them from dangers around the house.
Allow your toddler to express themselves
When you allow your toddler to express their needs, wants, desires, feelings, and creativity, your child will be healthier emotionally and physically. Allowing your toddler to express themselves doesn’t mean you let them do something that will hurt them. We as adults need to start with listening to the baby’s queues and try to understand their universe. This begins when the child is a baby and the only means of expression is crying. Instead of trying to make the baby stop crying by using a pacifier or endlessly rocking them, and telling them to be quiet, listen to the cry and try to understand what your child is trying to tell you.
There are at least five general types of crying and if you listen closely, you will be able to recognize them. This will help your toddlers feel more supported, safe, and comforted. Studies of over 1000 babies found that babies express themselves and communicate with us through some universal sounds. They found when your child begins to cry, “Neh” typically means I’m hungry. “Owh” means I need to sleep, am exhausted and overstimulated. “Heh” is normally I’m not comfortable, “Eair” is when they are in pain from gas in the lower belly and “Eh” they are wanting to burp.
Think about how a baby communicates through tears. If we don’t reach out and listen to the subtle messages that each cry transmits, we leave our toddlers feeling frustrated and upset. By listening to your toddlers’ sounds as a baby you will be able to meet their needs faster especially once you begin to understand the different sounds.
As they get older your toddler needs more freedom
As your child becomes a toddler, try to look at the world through their eyes. Your toddler may like green skies, to scribble outside the borders on a canvas and to jump in puddles. They may have more fun with imaginary friends than real classmates. All this is fine. Don’t force your toddler to see the adult world, to draw within the lines, or judge them when they are creating, playing, being silly, and imagining. It will leave them frustrated and sad.
This causes your child to lose vitality and joy. If toddlers are forced to be and think like adults some studies show they can develop disabilities. Spiritually even their energy centres can close off and turn inwards. Children are closer to their spiritual, natural state. We do not want to wound them accidentally.
A healthy diet for your toddler
Your toddlers’ diet is very important to their overall health. Limit all white, processed, and sweetened foods. This doesn’t mean they can’t have them at all though. It is important that they are getting a well-balanced diet. Some things you should consider include:
Flour and rice. Instead of using white flour or rice try using a healthier alternative like whole grain, or quinoa. If you use this from the start, they will become familiar with that taste and not look for any other.
Avoid white sugar completely. Remember we are all creatures of habit. Healthier alternatives for toddlers to sweeten are date syrup or honey, but only after the age of one. Not giving your toddler or child sweets, junk food or sugar will decrease the likelihood of them craving these when they are adults. Also sweetened carbonated drinks are just not healthy. Get your toddlers used to drink water when they are young and add a fresh squeezed juice for flavour.
Similarly, once you have weaned your child limit all dairy. Goat’s milk and cheese are an alternative. However, check if your child has allergies or sensitivities via natural testing. Rice and almond milk are good alternatives also. Watch out for the soy milk though. Some soy milks today are genetically modified.
Helping your child choose good food
When your toddlers grow older let them help in the kitchen so they become familiar with food. Cut up fruits and vegetables are a great healthy snack. Eating and preparing food needs to be a pleasurable experience. Remember, when your child is invited to a birthday party, not all parents think like you perhaps. Let the children eat the pizza, chips, a little ice cream cake.
When children feel excluded from the group it can damage them more than a few bits of junk food. If your child eats a healthy diet they will learn not to crave over processed, highly sweetened junk food. As a parent it is great for you to take all the steps to ensure your child will grow into a healthy adult on many levels.