living with a toddler for 31 days button

Our ultimate goal for our kids is that they self-monitor and do the right thing.  For that to happen we need to instil what is right in their hearts.  We teach them right from wrong, then we teach them to choose right, then we give them opportunity to make choices, and we help them through the consequences of their choices.  This is the process of parenting.  This process is gradual over many years and growth happens in spits and spats, in and out over many levels and many issues.  It is not a strictly linear development.  Being the parent means we keep our eye on our goal (moral maturity) and their development.

The Bible says out of the heart is the well-spring of life…. Every action we do is driven by what is in our heart – the heart is where we think, our beliefs, our conscience, our character, our emotions and passions.  This is what we are shaping as we parent our children.

This process can start at the toddler years – we can start to put in their hearts what is right and what is wrong.  But a toddler needs it to be concrete – they need to see it, hear it, feel it.  As they grow older they are able to process more abstract ideas, but for now they need to see what you want them to do, what you say is right to do.

  • I want my children to be gentle and kind – this means they stroke and pat instead of hitting and swiping.  When I say to Toddler, be kind, she immediately strokes, pats and hugs.  These are actions she has learnt to associate with the word ‘kind’.  As she grows older she’ll learn a broader, fuller definition, but even as a toddler she can understand the actions that go with the idea.
  • I want my children to say sorry – Sorry is such a huge concept but it can be broken down to actions for the toddler.  First they need to get over being ‘angry’ and you can tell this by the softness and relaxed nature of their body (they may need time out to get there).  Once again a pat and a cuddle can be actions for sorry (and I want to be friends again).  Toddler strokes your face and says ‘orry, orry’ – it is very cute.  But more than that, she is learning that her actions can hurt others and she needs to put things right.
  • I want my children to be able to wait – and be patient, which is ultimately a self control issue.  So we teach them to hold their hands – I find a great place to teach this is waiting for food – to practice holding their hands.  Of course they don’t have a lot of patience, so it is a gradual learning process, and I try and not train when they are long overdue for food!!  But once again here is a physical action that they can do, that helps them learn a very abstract concept.
  • I want my children to obey – so I make them come when I call. (And I’ve already talked about this in a previous post on obedience)  Going over and taking them by the hand, and walking back to where you were when you called them, is giving them something concrete to an otherwise abstract idea.

As our toddler goes through the day, and you want something from them, ask yourself – am I showing them how to do that – am I showing them how to be quiet, be quick, even to play.  These are the types of instructions that we give a toddler all day – we know what they mean, we know what they look like, but does our toddler?  We need to show them, give them something concrete to do, and as they grow older they’ll start to understand the values behind what we want of them, but for today, they just need the action.

You can see the rest of my Living with a Toddler for 31 days series here.

Or find more 31 day series here.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

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An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

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Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

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Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

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Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

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A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

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Three things for parents to pray for in the Moment.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

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Download Grow in Character Worksheets

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Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

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Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

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Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

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When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

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Download Character Lesson Guide

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When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

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Hearts: Heart focus homeschool

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Find ways to Re-engage your Student

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FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

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Become a Better Parent

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

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Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

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One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

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5 prompts to encourage the heart of your child as they learn to respond to God's Word

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Prepare a Heart focused Christmas

 

Free email course

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Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

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Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

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Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

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Raising Kids with Character

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Raising Kids with Character

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Connecting everyday living with the Word of God

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Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

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