Juli Auclair talks to Jen Singer, author of "Stop second-guessing yourself", about how to parent toddlers and what the most common mistakes are that parents make with toddlers.
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Juli Auclair: Raising a toddler is a really big challenge, no question about it, and if you've ever found yourself saying kids should come with a manual, well now, they do and it's called Stop Second-Guessing Yourself The Toddler Years. The author, Jen Singer, is here to tell us some of the biggest mistakes that parents of toddlers make and how to fix them and I'm so glad you're here because, boy, could I use your help? I always find myself saying that to you, but we have toddler so you know. Jen Singer: I had 2 toddlers at the same time because I had a 1-year-old and then a 2-1/2-year-old and I-- Juli Auclair: And that's crazy. Jen Singer: It was absolutely crazy because one would go one way and one would go the other way. Juli Auclair: It's hard to control them. You know, toddlers can be frustrating and exhausting and absolutely wonderful all the same time and I think it's because they're so unpredictable and they throw tantrums that parents, maybe, start using some parenting techniques that they normally wouldn't or shouldn't, right? Jen Singer: Well, that's true. They forget that their toddler isn't their baby anymore and so they go for the easy fix for the bigger problems and that causes larger problems in the long run. Juli Auclair: Okay, let's talk about these 3 big mistakes. For starters, you say, sometimes, parents scrimp on discipline when they shouldn't. Tell me about that, what do they do? I'm probably doing it too. Jen Singer: Well, you know. They're so darn cute, so you think that Oh they're so little, I'll just let some things go and, in fact, 63% of moms surveyed on MommaSaid.net say that during temper tantrums and their kids not listening to them saying no is a big, big problem. However, you've got to just say no and I'll tell you why. When you're in a store and your kids throwing a fit, if you just say, Oh, we're gonna leave if you don't stop that, and then you don't leave, you've now set up for the rest of their lives that they're gonna know that mommy's gonna buckle. So -- Juli Auclair: She's gonna cave. Jen Singer: She's gonna cave if I keep it up. Juli Auclair: So, just saying no is huge. Obviously, you have to do that, but you also recommend a discipline plan. Now, tell me how that works? Jen Singer: Yeah, you have to set a plan and you have to follow that plan and no matter who's watching the child, they have to follow that plan too. So, if you decide that you will not allow temper tantrums in the supermarket, well, then you pick up that kid and you take that kid to the car no matter how much they're screaming and how embarrassing it is and you do that every single time. Juli Auclair: And stay consistent with your spouse, I would imagine, is important. Jen Singer: Your spouse has to do it too, which is sometimes a hard sell, but yes, everyone has to do it and they're gonna know who's the softy. Juli Auclair: Okay. It's usually me. Alright, the next mistake, underestimating what your toddler can do. What do you mean? Jen Singer: My cousin told me that his toddler had just learned how to walk. He turned around for a second, turned back around, and his son was standing in the middle of the kitchen table. That happens. It has. That's toddlerhood and, again, your toddler is not a baby anymore. So, you need to sort of anticipate what they're gonna do, which is really hard to do because they're very crafty little creatures, but what you can do is watch other toddlers who are a little bit older than yours and see what they are getting into and then childproof accordingly. Juli Auclair: So, you need to maybe childproof before you even thought that you should. Jen Singer: Get down on your hands and knees, walk around, think like a toddler, think what can I stick into there? That's what you'll do in order to figure out what your child might get into too. Juli Auclair: Okay but, also, you say you need to let some things go, so you're not sort of in their face every step of the way. Jen Singer: Yeah, you know, your
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