Saturday, December 24, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 72: Speak Their Language

Problem: You have errands lined up that will take the whole of the afternoon, and your toddler has other plans. Be it dawdling, tantruming, playing or teasing, your kids are not getting back in the car. You have four more places to hit before dark. If you force them now, you'll only give yourself a miserable three hours and be stuck in the car with a couple of wailers. What do you do?

Solution: Speak in their terms. Find an angle to each place you have to be, each thing you have to do, and make it interesting to them. They're not going to care if you have to return that throw pillow, but maybe they're interested in the doors that open by themselves or helping you pick out a cart?

The other week, I was in the pharmacy, and I said to the girls as we stood at the counter, "Let's hurry now. It's time to go to the bank and get our lollipops."

The woman checking me out looked up at me, alarmed. "Are you really going to the bank just to get lollipops? Because I've got some right here."

Shhhh! First of all, never mention that there are available lollipops in the immediate vicinity. Not if you value your hearing. Secondly, of course we're not going to the bank for lollipops. We're going because I have things to do there. Things that don't interest my kids in the least. What does interest them, though, is the lollipops they receive there.

Find out what's interesting to your own kids, and mention it each time you are going to a new place. Hopefully the excitement will propel you all on your way.

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