I’m a Mommyholic: Help Me Help My Toddler

Quinn feeding herself with no help from Mommy

Quinn feeding herself with no help from Mommy

Hello, my name is Tanya, and I am a mommyholic. With each passing day, more of my world revolves around my adventurous and inquisitive 21 month old little girl, and as each day passes, I wonder if I am doing what is in the best interest of my daughter and her development.  For the past few months, I have been grappling with my latest transgression: overly helping my little girl, who expresses her independence in countless ways, do tasks without giving her a chance to show me what she may already be capable of doing. Of course, all children are not the same, but I am wondering how most parents are able to take a step back and let their young toddlers experiment, learn, maybe even be unsuccessful at a task but try again.

For instance, when Quinn is doing a puzzle, I cannot resist wanting to direct her or even turn a piece around or point out where it goes. Now, she wants to feed herself all the time with a fork or spoon, which is great, but there are instances when she gets nothing on the fork or spoon, and I have the urge to help her, which she is not always happy about. Sometimes, she’ll give me the “let me do it myself mommy!” look, and I feel so bad that I did not give her enough time to try on her own.

Maybe it is that I teach professionally, and it is my natural inclination to help. Perhaps I just do not like seeing the frustration on my daughter’s face if she cannot figure something out. Something new I’ve been doing is actually counting in my head to make sure I am giving her adequate time and even asking her if she needs help. This works sometimes, but she’s at that age where she will sometimes ask for help but not always. How do I know when she needs my help or needs me to back off? I have a feeling that this is a question that will resurface over and over throughout Quinn’s childhood and even into adulthood. If you have any techniques, please feel free to share.

All the best,

Tanya

My “Toddler” Valentine!

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Though I enjoy spreading love year round, I love the concept of Valentine’s Day. Most people focus on the romance of the holiday. While I enjoy this aspect, I take pleasure in doing a little something extra to let those who are close to me know how much I love and appreciate them. My little girl most certainly is one of my special valentines. Though yesterday evening was an outing for her daddy and me, the day time was loads of fun with my 21 month old Quinn.

She already shows how much she loves me in so many different ways. She’s so excited to see me and will give me a big hug and kiss and is even beginning to display signs of empathy and that she cares about my well-being. I look forward to the day when she will utter those word, “I love you mommy!.”

Quinn with her heart shaped French toast and scrambled eggs.

Quinn with her heart shaped French toast and scrambled eggs.

 

Blue is the New Red: Move Over Elmo! It’s Super Grover to the Rescue!

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Quinn with Her Best Friend Grover

Who’s red, furry and loves you? Elmo, that’s who! What toddler or preschooler who has watched or is familiar with Sesame Street does not know who Elmo is? When I was a little girl, Elmo was not a member of Sesame Street. My favorite characters were Big Bird, Ernie and Bert, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. Now, most of these characters have been pushed aside while Elmo has stolen the limelight. Since my little girl started watching Sesame Street and even visited Sesame Place a few times, I figured I’d have to face reality; my little girl would follow the masses and prefer Elmo too.

Actually, this is not the case at all. When it is time for a nap or to go to sleep, Quinn will ask for Grover instead of Elmo. Even when we play with the plush Sesame Street characters, she prefers Grover or Cookie Monster. Though she will happily play with Elmo, if Grover is available, she will immediately put Elmo down to grab Grover. Of course, she does not know that Elmo is typically the favorite of most young children, but it puts a smile on my face that she actually prefers the characters who are not as popular. Quinn has some time before she is in grade school; nevertheless, I hope this is an indication of how she will make friends. Instead of automatically wanting to befriend who’s most popular, be friends with those whom she genuinely likes and has built a bond with.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Little Snow Angel

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It’s that time of the year again: snow, snow and more snow! As a child, I loved the snow: building snowmen, going sledding, making snow angels, having snowball fights…you name it! While most adults complain about the snow and how much of a nuisance it can be, which I completely understand, I am truly looking forward to having fun with my little one in the snow. This past week, we got some snow, and my 20 month old just kept saying, “Snow, snow!” with a big smile on her face. We went outside the shovel the path, and she was eager to be my helper with a shovel that was taller than she is. Initially, she kept taking off her mittens, and I kept putting them back on to keep her hands warm, then it occurred to me that she had never touched snow before, and she probably just wanted the experience. Her little face lit up as she sifted the snow through her fingers yelling out, “Snow!” Though it was cold that day, It truly warmed my heart to know that my little snow angel still has so many more “first moments” to experience.

All the best,

Tanya