Energetic Toddler Vs Older Parents
The topic of how older parents can survive an energetic toddler is important with the number of people waiting to have children.
For any parents the energy of a high-spirited toddler can seem endless and daunting.
Irrespective of a child’s temperament, the toddler stage, between 2 to 4 years, can be challenging for any parent. But this is especially true for parents who are older.
Between the midnight toilet calls, the dreaded meltdowns in Aisle 7 and the constant need for attention it is difficult for any parent to cope. Worse still if you are a mature parent with an established routine.
These demanding toddlers are just plain exhausting for all parents.
The Ups and Downs of Being An Older Parent
Waiting until you are older before you have children can have a few advantages and also some hardships. This is especially true when dealing with an energetic toddler.
There are positives such as financial security, relationship security and not being afraid to ask for help. However, add to this a lack of energy, bad backs, gammy knees and even the likelihood of having to care for your own aging parents.
Thanks to fertility treatments mature parents are also more likely to be juggling twins. They may even have other children and are trying to cope with the energy of a toddler, or two!
Demographic studies show the number of parents who have children later is life is at an all-time high.
Here are some ideas that can help the older parent face the trials of dealing with an energetic toddler.
1. Older Parents Can’t Be Couch Potatoes
There is no way around it. The sheer physicality of managing a toddler can sometimes make older parents feel as if they have been hit by a truck.
Add to this any existing health conditions and keeping up can become problematic.
For the parent with a bit more age, paying close attention to health and fitness is essential to keep up with a high energy toddler.
Whether this involves a regular visit to the gym or yoga, engage in some daily exercise. You may think this is counter-intuiative! Surely adding exercise to a daily schedule will only make you more tired?
The truth is, by keeping the body in good aerobic condition and stretching those tight and tired muscles, your energy levels can increase. This is true of any age but especially for older parents who want to keep up with energetic toddlers.
2. Play Smart With Your Toddler
We all know toddlers have a lot of energy to burn. And as older parents, your energy levels may not be quite what they were.
While good fitness will help, keeping pace with the energy of a toddler will still be out of the question for some.
You need to use some creativity and your amazing life experience to level the playing field. Find ways to engage with your toddler to give them the physical outlet they need while sparing you the worst of the fatigue.
Get them to help with household chores. Toddlers love to help, and also learn by watching Mum and Dad. As parents who are older but with lots of experience in getting people to do what you need them to do, harness a toddlers energy for your own good!
Let them help plant things in the garden. This not only teaches them where food comes from, it allows them to get “down and dirty.”
Have them ride the tricycle while you watch. Get them to ride a course around trees and hedges!
As parents with maturity use your smarts and put the energetic toddler to work. Put some music on and get them dancing and dusting. Let them show off their latest dance moves while doing something constructive for you.
Get a child-sized watering can and show them how to water the household plants.
An older parents smarts is the perfect match for a toddlers energy.
3. Embrace The Chaotic Energy Of Your Toddler
Those who come late to parenting bring certain qualities their younger counterparts may lack.
Older parents tend to be more patient and cope with the energetic toddler in a calm way. Often they have gone through the trials of getting pregnant in the first place. This means they are very grateful and can relish the chaos that an energetic toddler brings.
As they are often more secure in their career and finances older parents may be in a better position to focus upon the pleasures and challenges of raising a young child.
On the flip side, an older parent can also be more set in their habits and routines. This means some adapting with new expectations around freedom and independence. We find that older parents love the energy of their toddlers, and the chaos it brings.
“It keeps us young”, seems to the catch-cry of the older parents as they keep pace with their energetic toddlers.
4. Older Parents Communicate Better With Their Toddlers
With greater age comes greater experience. This means that older parents are uniquely equipped to talk with their young child.
Not only does the mature parent have the skills to communicate their own wants, needs and boundaries. They have the advantage over younger parents of being able to really LISTEN to their children.
Can you see how useful this is when dealing with a toddler having a melt-down, or even just the general energy of a toddler?
Older parents tend to be more patient. Instead of yelling at a toddler who is not listening, they know that there are many ways to get their point across.
Without having to negotiate in trying to get an energetic toddler to settle or even threaten punishment, the mature parent uses superior communiation skills to get their point across.
Coping with the supreme energy of a toddler is a challenge at any age, but for older parents it can really be a trial. It doesn’t have to be mission impossible.
Reflect with gratitude upon the fact that, whatever the day to day struggles, children have a unique power to make us feel both old and young at the same time.
Try this article for more great parenting advice from our Famous Parenting authors.
Author Bio: Carolina is a fulltime working at home mom. She has 4 kids and loves them very much. She currently owns an online boutique for babies and toddlers and her site can be found at Munchkins Boutique.
Joanne loves loves loves the science behind child development and the way in which children learn and grow. She spends a lot of her time studying child development and learning styles to help influence teachers ways of teaching different children. She hopes to one day have a big impact in this space and we are so lucky to have her as part of our writing team. Joanne is mum to 3 young adults and loves being a big part in their life.