As your child begins to walk, they are at a point of understanding more than we know or yet more than we are ready to accept at the time...we have to stop putting our limits on our children. As toddler's they will begin to explore in ways that you will never imagine, and faster than you ever expected. Yes, people will tell you once they start crawling and walking that you are in for a ride, but what they don't prepare you for is the speed at which this ride moves. So, to try to help you travel this road...let me provide you with a few life vest tips:
1. When they fall, don't really react - No you won't be a terrible parent if you take a beat before reacting to them. When my daughter first started walking she fell a lot, which is normal. The problem was we have hardwood floors and high ceilings so the acoustics made it sound 10 times worse than it really was at the time. We decided we were going to act like it wasn't a big deal and just pick her back up as though nothing happened, of course secretly checking her out each time. We purposely chose to do this so she wouldn't over react or cry every time she fell. We even went as far as to hit the floor and tell it that it wasn't nice, which distracted her from the fact that she fell. I think this will be harder for you as the parent (and others) than your child. (Note: this of course is not referring to the "REAL" injuries or falls). The key is to face the facts that they will fall, and take the opportunity to teach them how to react when they do...to get back up and try again.
2. Play the pickup game - I have always felt that the home belongs to the entire family not one member or the children. Therefore, the child's toys should not monopolize the space. We kept a basket in our living room that kept her toys. We only kept the amount of toys that would fit in the basket in the living room (other than her little car). Each night before bed we would start playing the "pickup game" and putting the toys back. Me and her father would assist but she would be a part of the process. She took them out she can help pick them up. We started this as soon as she started walking. Now, the basket is in her room, but she doesn't hesitate when we tell her to pick up her toys. She knows to take them to her room and put them in the basket.
3. Get the door monkey - as soon as they get to the point of standing in their bed, go ahead and get the door monkey. Yes, I am plugging a product here only because it has truly worked for us and I haven't found anything else on the market like it...and no I am not associated with this product in any way other than I purchased it myself. It was designed by Kristian Yates, President of Jordacon Enterprises LLC. I purchased this when my daughter was 17 months old, which is when she first fell climbing out of her crib (you can read a more detailed account about that experience at www.thehappinessbucket.com). To this day, It has brought me such joy and peace of mind because it has prevented my daughter from being able to leave her room (which forces her to pass three doors leading to the outside of our home prior to getting to our room).
4. Let them do things when they try - One day I was hanging up her clothes in her room and she kept reaching for the hangers. My instinct was to tell her no. Then I realized that I was putting limits on my daughter. I decided in that moment to let her do it...so I said, "hang this up for me" (not thinking she would do it). She immediately walks over to the closet and starts trying to hang up the shirt. I then showed her how to hold it and put it up. It took us about four or five more times, but she soon got it to loud cheers from momma, which made her smile and cheer too. Now she regularly helps me hang up her clothes. This is something I would have never thought to teach her at such a young age. As Steve Harvey says, "Take off the Lid of the Jar".
I hope you found these tips helpful!