Experience, books, the internet – life lessons come to us in all kinds of ways, and everyone has a different idea of the rules you need to know to get through life. Obviously, Baby doesn’t need to know a lot of these right now. But toddlers are smart – Baby especially so – and they appreciate consistency, so introducing a few general rules to live by isn’t a bad idea right now. Plus, some rules can carry over into the rest of their life as they grow.
Hands to yourself
Staying out of someone’s personal space is a way to show respect. Obviously, you love getting hugs and cuddles from Baby, but not everyone wants a toddler climbing all over them. Studies suggest that children don’t start developing a sense of personal space until they’re around three years old, so Baby might not be able to fully grasp this concept right now, but they is the perfect age to start learning that it isn’t okay to hit, touch, or jump on people unless they have permission.
Use your manners
Please and thank you will get you far in life, and you can absolutely start teaching Baby basic manners while they are this age. There’s only so much politeness they will remember right now, but it’s smart to sprinkle in the basic lessons in manners here and there. You can gradually increase them as Baby gets older.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Baby‘s amazing, but there’s a lot that they need help with at this age, and it’s important that they know to come to you or another adult for assistance. This is something that adults need to remember, too – it’s smart to reach out and ask for help or advice when you feel stuck, and if you show Baby that it’s something adults need to do, too, they may be more ready to turn to you when they need you.
Keep your life balanced
Naps, meals, play, friends, family time; how do toddlers fit it all into one day? As you’re surely aware, adults ask the same questions about their own lives. The key, of course, is to find balance. That means paying attention to what you need, whether it’s a nap or food or something else, exercising or just moving around as often as you can, putting time into your relationships, and having fun whenever possible. Oh – and getting enough sleep (although we know that’s easier said than done).
Use your imagination
It’s only natural that you’d want Baby to follow rules; they keep them safe, after all. But out-of-the-box thinking is important, too! Being able to imagine and play pretend allows Baby to keep themself entertained, not to mention the fact that every single invention or good idea started with someone daydreaming. As adults, we’re not always encouraged to use our imagination, so maybe you and Baby could set aside some time every day or almost every day to play pretend together.