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7 Things I Expect of My Toddler

By Emily |

Do you sometimes dream of being a better mom? I often think about the kind of mom that I could be, that I desire to be, that I always envisioned myself being when I was growing up.

And I always seem to fall so short of my idealized version of what this “good” mom would be.

Recently, I have realized that one of the biggest things getting in my way of being the best mom to my kids that I can be isn’t that my kids are so strong-willed, or badly behaved, or even just typical kids. It’s myself.

Yep, I get in the way of me being the best mom that I can be.

You see, I often expect way more of my children than they can realistically be or do at their young age. And I am finding that this is especially true of my son, since he is the youngest.

I expect him to be more like his older sister, even though when I think back, I realize that he is, in most ways, at the same place developmentally as she was at two. And because she was my oldest, I didn’t expect anything more from her at the time.

But for some reason, because my son is the second child, and I see how a child can act, and what they can do at the ages of three and four, those expectations filter down and I find myself expecting the same thing of my two-year old. Which isn’t fair to him, and isn’t good for me as his mama.

I expect that he’ll be able to pick up a room full of messy toys without any supervision or help.

I expect that he’ll be able to eat with his fork and spoon without making much, if any, of a mess (Really, what am I thinking? My daughter still doesn’t do that!)

I expect that he’ll follow the directions the first time I ask, without having to be encouraged or reminded when he gets a little distracted.

And when he doesn’t do these things, or when he even does the opposite of what I expect, I get upset and can’t understand why he acts the way he does.

Um… because he’s two. Sheesh.

And so, because of these unrealistic expectations I place on my toddler, I set him and myself up for failure, and take away the opportunity I have to be the kind of mom that I want to be.

I’ve decided I need to make some new expectations of my son and be very conscious and intentional about dwelling on these reasonable expectations instead of my unreasonable ones.

So, here are 7 realistic things I expect of my toddler.

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7 Things I Expect of My Toddler

Be a Messy Eater

I expect him to make a mess at every meal, but I also expect him to at least attempt to help me clean up afterward.

Do you sometimes find you expect too much of your kids? What is one realistic expectation you can set for your toddler today?

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About Emily

emilym

Emily

Emily McClements is passionate about caring for creation while saving money at the same time. She is a blessed wife and mama to three young children, and blogs about her family's journey toward natural and green living on a budget at Live Renewed. Read bio and latest posts → Read Emily's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “7 Things I Expect of My Toddler

  1. Naomi says:

    This is great.

  2. Krissa says:

    I love this! It gives me great guidelines on what is reasonable to expect from my 2 year old. A great reminder.

  3. Joanne says:

    Emily – thank you for this and the gentle reminder :)

  4. Crystal Loftus'LoManto says:

    Great article! As the mother of a three year old boy I often have to remind myself “handle this with the same care and patience you’d want anyone else to take with your child”. I have to stop and put myself in his shoes…..what we see as being rambunctious, messy, and wild they see as fun and exploration.

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