8 Essential Rules of Parenting a Toddler

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

I am the mother of three children, but my youngest is 3 years old. Needless to say, living with a toddler presents a myriad of challenges on a daily basis, so I put together a helpful list for parents to navigate the uncertain waters of living with a small, human-like piranha.

Here are 8 essential rules of parenting a toddler …

Rule #1. Leave all cookies and candy on the lower pantry shelf, within their reach.

This will reduce trips to the ER when they try to rescue said candy from your hiding spot. Toddlers are like tiny ninjas with zero agility. When weighing out cavities versus stitches, cavities win every time. 

Rule #2. Try to outfit your bathroom with the most comfortable furniture you own.

You will spend an excessive amount of time watching and/or waiting for poop to come out of their precious bottoms. You may as well be comfortable while waiting. (If you can fit a small wine fridge in there, it would be an added bonus.)

Rule #3. Take a course on mind reading.

This will come in handy when they ask for help and then immediately scream at you for helping. It also helps when picking out the exact pair of superhero underwear suitable for a Tuesday and socks that go just far enough up the calf to not be infuriating.

Rule #4. When grocery shopping, only buy goldfish crackers, ketchup, apples, chicken nuggets, and cheese.

This will save you hundreds of dollars a month trying to guess what may or may not be appealing to them during mealtime. Wait, hold on, forget the cheese — as of right now they DON’T LIKE CHEESE.

Rule #5. Buy a tape recorder so you can answer their questions repeatedly without actually opening your mouth.

Simply record your first response and continue to hit playback for the rest of the conversation. See example below:

Him: “You make me chicken now?”

You: (hit record) “Yes, sweetie.”

Him: “Now?”

You: (rewind, play)

Him: “I ready for chicken.”

You: (rewind, play)

Him: “Chicken now?”

You: (rewind, play)


You: (rewind, play)

You get the drift. Your mouth can then be used for drinking more wine from your bathroom fridge.

Rule #6. Do not ever buy two of their favorite bedtime animals or blankets.

This may seem like a smart investment if one were to ever lose this sacred item, HOWEVER … if you give them the replacement set and they magically find the original, you will forever be responsible for providing TWO doggies and TWO blankies (pronounced “wankie.”) What once was an acceptable doggie to wankie ratio just became unimaginable.

Rule #7. Do not, under any circumstances, laugh at their farts.

A toddler thinks they are the funniest person at the party, particularly in matters involving butts, and if you laugh once, they will continue to repeat that behavior for eternity. If they cannot produce an actual fart, they will begin making farting noises with their mouths. You will then be forced to laugh every time they make the noise. Toddlers have more stamina than you think. If you stop laughing, you will be screamed at for being the insensitive asshole you clearly are.

Rule #8. Remove every item from your house that your toddler could stick in their mouths and attempt to consume.

This includes candles, chapstick, chalk, tampons, dog treats, and their sibling’s retainer. Basically don’t buy anything at all of value to you or anyone who lives in your home until they can be trusted alone for more than 22 seconds; incidentally, 22 seconds is the amount of time a toddler can consume a piece of chalk, in case you were wondering. And that one time with the tampon, but it was just the wrapper … turns out even toddlers have standards.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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