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I also find it AP my toddler only because she was such a frustrated baby - as soon as she could walk her whole disposition changed. But is IS harder on me mentally and emotionally! Soooo....

For me, APing a toddler means looking at the world from his perspective. I try to put myself in his position and get a sense of what's important to him, what frightens him, what empowers him, what comforts him, etc.
Yes! I do this as well and it helps me to be more patient. When it's time to put on shoes and she's running around the house screaming NO NO like I am going to hurt her it's easy to get real mad real fast. But I stop and ask what's happening in her world right now? It helps!

•we still nurse
•we co-sleep
•we don't leave her for long periods of time
•we are a very affectionate family, but also respect boundaries. No means No
•we give her a lot of freedom of expression and let her know she has just as many rights as we do.
•we have everything (as much as we can) at her level so she can do it herself - this is a BIG one in our house. Little miss independent.
•I read and educate myself on her development so that I can respond appropriately to her needs.
•I play with her, read to her, use imagination with her.
•we eat healthy foods and discuss the importance of taking care of your body (hair, teeth, body cleanliness, etc)
•we get down at her level to talk to her. we take the time to explain things to her, even if she doesn't get it.
•we are fair with our boundaries and no means no - I think it's confusing for a child to be wishy-washy. I choose the battles so to speak and we rarely say no in our house...

Do I fail? Oh yeah. I think I posted on nighttime parenting hte other night when I was in a real bad head space after a 2 hour bedtime battle.
I yell. I try so hard not to. I see how it upsets her, and to top it off she yells at me back. LOL. I am certainly not going to tell her not to yell when I yell. That's a big thing for us too - modeling behaviors. I will not tell my child to do something I am not doing myself, or tell her NOT to do something I am doing. As the saying goes, "I cannot hear what you say because what you do is screaming at me."

I believe parenting is not only learning for the child, but also offers tremendous growth opportunities for the parent as well. It's recriprocal - we learn from each other like any other relationship.

I also apologize to her if I am wrong, or when I do yell at her.

so. Losing yourself. I feel that too. I am a creative person who desperately needs alone time to create and these days DD refuses to let me out of sight. It gets very frustrating and I start to feel a bit like I am drowning and feel very discontent being a mother - I just feel like, is this all there is??? And then torn that I feel that way at all. *sigh*

It's the toughest job, but the most wonderful job, this mothering thing.
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