by David and Charissa Scotford
What about toddlers choices?
Over the past couple of months, we’ve been looking at ‘parenting inside the funnel’. Basically that means only giving our children the physical and verbal freedoms they are developmentally and morally ready for.
This month we are going to explore parenting toddlers in the funnel. As our children begin to walk and explore their world, they suddenly have new freedoms as they can get to places on their own.
Gone are the days of leaving them on a blanket while you quickly put the shopping away. Now you need to be extra careful that they are safe and you can’t presume that they will stay where you put them down. With the new physical freedom of a child’s mobility, comes new responsibility.
Parenting a toddler ‘inside the funnel’ means setting up appropriate boundaries so he doesn’t hurt himself and can’t have access to breakable or dangerous things.
One of the best tools we used with our toddlers was a play pen. This provided a safe place for them to play while I had a shower, got the shopping in or hung the washing out. It also provided them with a smaller area to explore, less distractions, which we saw helped our children learn the skill of concentrating. One of my favourite things was to see my toddler sitting in the play pen carefully looking through a book or taking their time to play with just one toy at a time. We found that giving them a couple of times in their day where they could play in this more focussed environment was invaluable in keeping them at an appropriate place in the funnel.
Toddlers who are given a free reign of the house and garden all day every day can end up going from one disaster to another with their exhausted parents chasing after them. Yet again, they’ve ended up with a volcano to deal with!
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