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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Toddler Tricks - 66: Remember Distraction

Problem: It's shaping up to be another battle of wills in your house early on a Saturday morning. You just wish for logic and that too much to ask? Yes. If you choose the wrong shirt, if you forget to let them put on their own shoes, if you mistakenly put the wrong video on to get some peace while you drink your coffee, pandemonium.

Solution: Are your kids older than three? If they are, hearken back to the sage advice you received when they were mere infants. Distract them. I know, personally, we've gotten away from this technique. Nothing makes me feel more foolish than when I try to distract them with something and they don't fall for it in the slightest. Then, of course, they're even more disgruntled, and I feel like they can see right through me. But that's not what's happening. That's me, projecting my adult reasoning onto the situation. I feel like they're thinking, "seriously, with this? I wasn't born yesterday!" But actually, they kind of were. I need to remember that.

Now, it's not me who is the genius, here. I still can't do it quite right. But my mother, whom we're visiting right now, is the queen. She can bring a crying child to a halt simply by pointing out something else. Is that a picture? Who's on that picture? Another little girl? Is she clapping? Can you clap? It's magic, and as of right now, I still don't have the touch. I try something like that and my kids are like, what are you stupid? I'm CRYING here and no silly picture is going to stop me.

But I'm confident I'll figure it out soon enough, and I know they are coming back around to an age where their curiosity will outweigh their stubbornness, if only sometimes.

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