Toddler Toolbox

There are certain things that people need as children in order to be happy, productive adults. After all, I believe that most adults are just bigger versions of who they were at the age of five. Why do you think that the most successful people (like Bill Gates) often boast about having a great father who was there for him and gave him boundaries while most of the prison population had some kind of traumatic experiences in their early years?

So, here I go…Things that I believe every little one should have:

1.) An imagination-Kids won’t be able to have everything they won’t. It’s not economically possible, but if they have a good imagination, at least they can pretend they have everything! They can also pretend that they’re slaying dragons, sailing to Neverneverland or if they turn out to be like me, that they had an imaginary duck friend that tried to steal their favorite blanket. (And you wonder why I’m the way I am now)

2.) Books!-I honestly believe that children who read are a million times smarter, more disciplined and more likely to be ready and willing to learn both in and outside of the classroom. It’s a true bonus when parents are willing to read to their kids in different characters’ voices. And plus, books fuel #1!

3.) Healthy food-How do you expect kids to be able to slay dragons and chase imaginary ducks if they’re living on Oreos and Ding Dongs? A healthy diet is important and doesn’t have to be boring.

4.) Positive mentors-The first of such role models are, of course, the parents. But I believe that kids need an even bigger supporting cast including older siblings, teachers, aunts, uncles. It really does take a village. Kids (actually all people) are seeking validation, and if they don’t find it from a positive mentor, they will find it out on the streets.

5.) Understanding parents-I firmly believe that half of the fun of being a toddler is playing with a mom and dad who aren’t uptight about matching clothes all the time, don’t mind building forts out of the sofa cushions (and any other cushion in the house), support running through sprinklers and understand that your first birthday cake is all about eating with your hands.

I’ve heard statistics that children’s most formative time is during the first five years of their lives. During that time, they should be allowed some freedom to play, imagine and be cared for by people who really love them. They should have everything they need but not necessarily everything they want.

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