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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 63: You'll Ruin It

Problem: When my kids were younger, they had an obsession with wearing shoes. They always wanted to be wearing shoes. It got to the point where they even begged to nap in them. These days, they're good with shoes on or off, but sometimes they still want inappropriate things at nap time, like their princess dresses, or necklaces, or some hard plastic dolls. You don't want to start nap off with a screamfest, so what do you do?

Solution: This started off as the truth, but when my kids hear a reason that makes sense to them, they stick with it, regardless of object in question. And who am I to look a gift-horse in the mouth? I run with it. One day, they wanted to wear their princess dresses to bed. I said, "Oh, no, you can't. You'll ruin it." "Woon it?" "Yup." and I sat them down, showed them the threaded seams and how those would most like rip apart in their sleep. Seeing it physically like that cemented the reasoning in their minds and it was reasoning they accepted. I only had to do it once. Now, whenever they want to wear sunglasses, shoes, or bring their million blocks into bed with them, I simply say, "No, you can't, you'll ruin it/them." And they quietly nod and let it go. Magic.

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  1. it sounds like your twins have the reached the stage where they are practicing both 3-year-old power struggles and learning to make choices. Why not help them? One of life's lessons is in learning how to make choices. Keep it simple. Say something like, "You may have the pink washcloth or the brown teddy bear--which one do you want?" If they only want things that are potentially unsafe, then you can say, "I know you would like to have the hard plastic, but it is unsafe. So, you may have the washcloth or teddy bear--your choice." You may have to say this a few times (and stick to your rules)--but you will be setting "rules" that will serve all of you well in the years to come. These early power struggles are important for the later years. Best to you--Barb

  2. When my girls were about 2-2 1/2, they wanted to sleep with about 10-15 assorted plastic toys. If one got stuck between the bars or something, they'd wake up and throw a fit. It was terrible.

    And then they moved to toddler beds, and I told them they couldn't bring them into their toddler bed, only one SOFT toy. Anything else would fall out and maybe break. They accepted that super easy. It was such a relief.



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