Nina Godiwalla on Parenting Shifts for the Infant to Toddler Transition

In Chapter 4 of 18 in her 2013 Capture Your Flag interview, author and entrepreneur Nina Godiwalla answers "How Is Your Parenting Approach Changing as Your Children Grow From Infants Into Toddlers?" A mother of an infant and a toddler, Godiwalla shares how needs shift from physical to emotional as the child makes the infant to toddler transition. She learns negotiation - especially at bedtime - is not always rational and works through the mental challenges that come with it. Nina Godiwalla is an expert on diversity, leadership and women in the business world. She is CEO of Mindworks, which provides leadership, stress management, and diversity training to companies all over the world. She is also a bestselling author and public speaker. Godiwalla earned an MBA from Wharton, a MA from Dartmouth and a BBA from the University of Texas.


Erik Michielsen: How is your parenting approach changing as your children grow from infants into toddlers?

Nina Godiwalla: Well, with infants, I feel like the challenges seemed to be less physical. You’re thinking with the newborn it’s the staying up all night, the physical exhaustion, the carrying them, the feeding them, meeting their basic physical needs is basically where I feel like it has been so much with the babies, and then with a toddler, I have a toddler now and I’m thinking a lot of it is these bizarre negotiations that make absolutely no sense to me.

So it’s just every time I say anything, there is a counter offer. So it’s like, “We’re going to read two books.” “No, three books.” “Okay, fine, we’re gonna read three books.” “No, one book.” “I don’t understand the negotiation here, you’ve lost me.” I mean and then I don’t even know how to approach it, it’s like this isn’t even rational, like how am I supposed to deal with this?

So I think it has been a lot more of a mental challenge and I joke about it. Sometimes, I said recently to my mother-in-law, I said, “Oh, I can’t wait sometimes until he’s 15,” and she said, “You think you have to stay up now, you think you have things you have to think about now, it will be much more complicated, negotiations you have when they’re 15,” and so I can’t even think beyond the toddler stage, but, for me, I just definitely see it will be a lot more trying emotionally. Right now there’s a lot of craziness and enjoyment. I mean I think of it as joy. People ask me with the second child, “What’s the adjustment?” A lot more crying and more laughing, but I think the crying outweighs the laughing, unfortunately. (laughs)