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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Toddler Tricks - 92: When Everything Changes, Stay the Same

Problem: You're going to visit family, or friends, or someone far away where it's not quite a vacation, but not quite not. You need your children to behave, but with all the changes to routine, new faces, and new pecking order, they don't know what to think. When no one steps up to be the sole leader, you'll find your children deciding that they are in charge. This is disaster. So much for showing off good behavior for grandma and grandpa. You'll say something, and at first, they'll go to the next adult to see if they like that answer better. After a while, they'll skip that step and go right to the screaming. Even if they never get what they want from tantrums, it seems that doesn't deter them.

Solution: Decide among the adults before you even take off, who is going to lay down the law for which areas of life. I am the main rule-maker in our house, so most of the responsibility would or should fall to me. Still, we were staying at Nana's house, so I needed to know her rules beforehand. Rules like, sit down in the kitchen when you eat, and no shoes in the house. If I say something, and Nana says another, the girls get confused. They start to think no one knows what's going on. And when the lines of what's acceptable and what's not get blurred, they feel like it's the perfect time to make their own lines instead. Their own lines where everything is acceptable, and if they're met with a no, well, it's acceptable to scream about it. Why? Because we're at Nana's and the babies are making the rules.

Go over routines and rules with every involved adult before you leave. If everyone is on the same page and you present a united front, you may be able to avoid the envelope-pushing hellions that tend to come out during family visits.

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1 comment:

  1. Katie (unmowngrass)May 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    It sounds like this lesson was hard-learned through experience on your recent trip - and if so, my condolences.



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