Coffee Talks: Teaching Toddlers Positivity
Lately, my littles have seem a bit down in the dumps. They’ve had a few more tantrums and bad days than normal, and it breaks my heart when they are feeling like this. I decided I should teach them about positivity.
They are both going through their own separate toddler life crisis right now, but I will do whatever I can to bring back more smiles. My 2 year old daughter is going through a tough growth spurt and has been complaining of leg pain from cramps. She has gone from a size 4 shoe to a size 8 in less than 8 months. So, she’s sore, grumpy, and restless.
My 4 year old son is starting to get a bit discouraged with his potty training and the fact that his sister doesn’t want to play when she’s achey. He’s potty trained some days, and other days there are accidents. I used to panic and look up every article I could about potty training. I thought I was doing something wrong, but when I talked to his pediatrician, I was told to just let it happen. So, we did. He does pretty great most times, but he’s had a few accidents that have really made him feel discouraged lately.
As a mom, it’s my job to build my littles up when they are feeling down. I hate seeing them be so hard on themselves and in such bad moods at this young of an age. They are little kids and should be filled with giggles and playtime. So, we are making a household change. Momma is peppering this house with positivity.
Method to My Madness
Besides being a positive person with body acceptance, I’m also a very outgoing, probably slightly obnoxious, peppy person. I talk a lot, and I’m always trying to find the bright side or the good I’m people.
I wasn’t always like this. I used to be bitter, critical, and what I referred to as a “realistic.” While I’m still my sarcastic, wit driven self, I was tired of being so negative. So, these last two years have been all about positivity.
Right before I started this blog, I knew I needed to make changes with myself. I have anxiety and OCD, and negativity just amplifies my mental health issues. I didn’t want my kids to learn from my negative attitude, so I started making positive changes for myself and my babies. It’s been a whirlwind, but’s it’s one of the most magnificent changes.
As a family, we try to find positives whereever we can. We work on our mindfulness, and we try to teach our kids that a positive outlook can get you through so much in life. Lately, my little lessons felt like they were going over my kiddos’ heads, but I found a few new ways to help boost their attitudes.
Affirmations for Kids
Yes, I’m talking about affirmations again, and I’m not sorry. They are amazing and work, and they aren’t just helpful for adults. Kids can really benefit from them too.
I love affirmations, and I’m always sharing my favorite ones for self-love and body positivity. I also have some lovely ones for kids.
- I am loved.
- I can make my dreams come true.
- I am very helpful.
- It’s okay to not know the answer.
- Mistakes help me learn.
- I accept and love myself.
- I am brave.
- I have trust in myself.
- Whatever I do, I try my best.
- I can solve problems.
- I am confident.
- I am caring.
- I can think positive even when I’m upset.
- I am thankful.
- I can reach my goals.
Positive affirmations work because they help redirect our thoughts. They are just an added boost that we can benefit from when we don’t feel our best.
They are a tool I learned in therapy, and I use them for a lot of situations. It’s great how they can be personalized to fit your life in so many areas. I use these simple ones with my littles, because they may not be complex but they are powerful statements that really encourage a positive outlook.
Be A Good Role Model
This is so much easier said than done sometimes. When I get mad, I just want to throw a damn tantrum like my toddlers, but that doesn’t get anything accomplished. Throwing a fit, complaining, and bringing my mood down with further negativity isn’t a good example. Let’s be honest, kids are little sponges, and they soak up everything whether you want them to or not.
I try to be positive and breathe through my stressful moments as much as possible, because I want to show them that tantrums and negativity don’t fix how you’re feeling.
The other aspect of this is teaching them that it’s okay to not be okay. I want to lead by example and show that it’s okay to have a bad day. It’s okay to get a yell out. It’s okay to hit a pillow. I give them examples of positive ways to blow off steam, and it usually ends with laughter and talking about why we were mad in the first place. Little ones are smart and redirecting how you deal with your bad moments can help them learn positive ways of handling their stress too.
Mindfulness and Meditation
My 2 year old is not about mediation, but that’s because she’s a toddler. Just because she can’t sit still for extended periods of time, doesn’t mean we can’t mediate and practice mindfulness in a way that works for her. If I can get her to sit and breathe with me, that’s half the positive battle right there.
Before nap or bedtime, I get the kids to work on breathing, talking about how they feel, and what they want to do or focus on when they wake up. It actually really works and helps them calm down and relax. I’ve also written about mindfulness and helpful tools for toddlers here.
Being Kind and Helpful
Another way I try to show my kids that positivity is powerful is teaching them that kindness and being helpful goes along way. I try to have them help me with little chores like picking up toys, sorting their clothes, and helping each other with games and play.
When we help others, we feel good. Those small little helpful feats can go a long way, so I try to practice that around the house.
Of course it would be easier and much faster to clean up myself, but showing them little ways to help makes them feel included and happy. Plus, it teaches manners and responsibility. It’s also a great way to teach positive reinforcement and keep them from being entitled and lazy.
Don’t Overestimate the Little Tasks
We are surrounded by a ton of tiny options that we can turn into positivity. Whether it’s a task or change of attitude, there are a lot of ways we can add positivity into our daily lives, and that’s true for kids too.
Not only do our kids learn from us, we can all learn from each other as a team. That’s what family is all about, so that’s what we’ve been trying to accomplish in our home. Sometimes it works wonderfully, and other times there’s still tears and cuddles. The beauty is that every experience can be a lesson.
Positivity won’t take away my baby girl’s leg cramps, but breathing through it and some hugs make her smile. Picking up toys won’t help my son run to the potty on time, but it shows him he can be a responsible, big boy who’s capable and that trying is what matters.
There are just so many chances to put a positive spin on the little stresses of everyday life. If you can look on the bright side, then why not? I hope you found some of these helpful. I’d love to hear some of your positive ideas for kiddos.
Have a lovely week!