My Five Parenting Resolutions for 2018
Words Megan Gordon
The word “resolutions” can be really loaded for many of us, so we’ve been using the word “goals” instead, and while I definitely have personal goals I’m looking forward to focusing on this upcoming year, my husband and I both have a handful of parenting goals as well. As our son Oliver has grown from a baby into a full-fledged two-year old, there are some things we could be more conscious of or, quite simply, could be doing better. So here’s our list, and cheers to taking the first step in making some positive changes at home!
More Mealtime Involvement
Quite by accident when making a smoothie a few weeks ago, I realized how much more interested Oliver was in drinking the smoothie when he’d had a chance to help out. Of course, involving toddlers in the kitchen is no easy feat in innumerable ways, but something simple like making smoothies or bringing them to the table to help spread peanut butter on toast can elicit a lot of buy-in – something I’m often striving for with our son as it makes life so much easier.
Facilitate Imaginative Play
At the two year mark, imaginative play often really begins, and it’s such a rich time for little people as they can start to create their own worlds with toy boats and cars, stuffed animals or bath toys. We’ve started to realize that when playing with our son, we’re often leading the play far more than we should, and not giving him enough space to create on his own. So I’ve been making a conscious effort to encourage imaginative play more by leaving the room from time to time or, if I’m in the same room, casually looking through a magazine or putting on some music instead of hovering.
Chat About Potty Training
We’ve got a lot of interest in talking about the potty at home lately: who uses the potty, when, how, what we wear on the potty, if Nana uses the potty. You get the picture. So while it seems most of our peers with kids Oliver’s age aren’t doing any firm potty training quite yet, we’ve got our potty out in plain sight and have started chatting about it quite a bit and encouraging Oliver to sit on it if he shows interest. I love the back handle on the OXO Tot Potty, making it super easy to transport (we bring it to Oliver’s sitter’s house during the day so he can use it there as well), and the round curves make it easy to clean: a win/win for everyone in the house.
No Screens at Mealtime
I’m not going to lie: I have some guilt around this one. In general, we’re really good about limiting screen time at home but around Thanksgiving Oliver had the flu and we let most rules fly out the window. At mealtimes, he was allowed to watch his favorite show and sadly, it became something he came to rely on. We decided on a new hard and fast rule to have absolutely no screens at mealtime. It’s not been popular at first as you can imagine, and there have been a few meals where Oliver hasn’t eaten at all, but we know it’ll just take a little time and we’ll (hopefully) break this bad habit for good.
Consistent Hand Washing
With winter germs on the rise, hand washing is more important this season than ever. We’re really good about hand washing at home, but it’s all too easy in the ‘take off jackets, hats, shoes’ craziness that occurs upon returning home to simply forget (and this, of course, is the most important time). So we’re trying to get Oliver to get into the routine of heading into the bathroom to wash his hands every time we return from daycare or an errand. He has his own little stool that’s light enough to allow him to move it from the bathroom to the kitchen at his leisure, so he feels like he’s leading the way, which toddlers always love. As for us, we love the grippy top and bottom of the stool, making it tough for small toddler feet to slip and slide, reducing the chance of injury.