^^Her hand in her pocket is the cutest thing ever. I love her so much!
^^Her face haha!
Today I wanted to share a couple tips for everyday life with a toddler. This is just what I’ve been learning lately, and what has helped me navigate much more easily and effectively.
1.) Pray. Lately I’ve felt like the “toddler” stage is God’s way of cultivating lots and lots and LOTS of patience in me. Haven is at an age where she knows right from wrong, and will (unfortunately) push the limits. And if I tell her no, odds are it will result in screaming and crying. Those days of thinking a have a perfect child are gone. So what do I do now? I lean on God to guide my steps. To guard my mouth. To help me steer her away from sin and on the path that leads to life. Gently. Lovingly. Consistently.
2.) Lead by Example. I’m sure we have all heard this saying, but it’s helped me so much recently. Many times I feel tempted to blurt out in frustration when Haven doesn’t behave, but God is always quick to convict me of my heart of impatience, and anger. James 1:19 says to be, “…quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry.” As a momma whose desire is to raise God-fearing, and God-loving babies, I must be a good representation of Jesus. Jesus did not retaliate. He did not get even when spoken to rudely. (1 Peter 2:23) So I shouldn’t either. So watch your tone, and choose your words, your attitude, and your temperament wisely. You’d be amazed at how many times, “…a soft answer turns away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1 (Toddler wrath in this case haha!)
3.) Praise them whenever they do good! This is vital in my opinion. I never met someone who didn’t appreciate encouragement. And our babies need it. It helps them know they’re on the right track. It confirms that they’re growing into a beautiful person. It reminds them that they’re making us proud. And it’s a declaration of how we admire and love them. So if you see something good, even if it’s small, (example: giving a hug to a sibling) point it out. Let them know that you’re happy they are making good choices! Haven always goes, “Oh thanks momma!” when I compliment her. My heart melts every time.
4.) Pray with your child. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received as a mom has been this: “Teach your child to pray as soon as they can talk.” Haven may be little, but cultivating a heart of prayer is totally possible at a young age! So throughout our day we pray together. Before meals, when something goes wrong, at bedtime…the goal is to help her understand that we can go to God with anything and He hears us. Also, she loves to pray! She always places her little hands in mine and snuggles me close. She’s an angel I tell ya!
5.) Quality time. This is one I’m currently working on. I’m a stay at home mom of two children. And you’d think that means there’s endless quality time for Haven and I, but it’s not the case. My time is divided between being a home maker, and also between both kids. So I’ve started a date night once a week with Haven where we go out, just the two of us, and spend uninterrupted time together. She needs it. And so do I! Honestly, there’s a lot of days where I wish I could snuggle her more than I’m able to. Thankfully she’s independent and it probably makes me much more sad than her. (Or at least I hope so!) So plan dates. And make the time count. Let your little one know that you love spending time with them, and that you think they’re the most beautiful, (or handsome), little date there ever was.
Well that’s just a few helpful tips I’ve learned while navigating toddlerhood. (Is that even a thing?!) Motherhood isn’t easy, but it sure is worth it every minute of every day. I absolutely adore Haven and couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect daughter. She’s pure sunshine, and the most bubbly, fun person I’ve ever known. She’s confident, beautiful, and so kind. I cannot wait to see the things she does in her life. Whoever said toddlers are the worst looked at it all wrong. Toddlers are tomorrow’s world. These toddlers we are raising are light. So cherish them. Love them fiercely. Lead them biblically. Because they’re watching with those pretty little eyes, and absorbing everything they see. So let them see Jesus. Let them see love.
*All photos are by Psalms Thirty Four Photography*