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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Toddler Tricks - 74: Keep Them Involved

Problem: There is an occasion or event going on in which your child is not the main player. They are, of course, using this opportunity to make themselves as annoying as possible to try to, yet again, be the center of attention. They are on the verge of bringing down the whole thing with their bad mood.

Solution: Even if your kid isn't in the spotlight, you can make them feel as if they are with fairly little effort. For instance, at my husband's birthday party, I gave them a present to open, too, and we let them blow out the candles.

Now, that's a little extreme, and not advisable for situations where the center of attention is a friend or extended family member, but you can still involve your child enough so that he doesn't make a fuss and step on someone else's sunshine. Make sure, even while you take part in the main activities, that you maintain a conversation with your child about what is going on, what is going to happen next, and most importantly, how the child is going to play a part in it. All your kid really cares about at age three is him or herself, so you really just need to let him know what's expected of him and give him tasks and activities that are somewhat involved in the party or event. Like, checking on the present pile, or handing presents to the birthday boy or girl, or even tidying up the wrapping paper. Whatever. Any little thing. As long as they have a role to play, you'll find children are much more calm, and less likely to try to hog attention. As long as your child has your attention and approval, that will usually be enough for him.


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