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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Toddler Tricks - 101: Let Them Set the Pace

Problem: You have plans with no one to go somewhere or do some certain thing. It's in your datebook / on your to-do list and everything. Yet, there your kids sit, happily playing in the corner, not a tear in sight, not a tantrum to be heard. You know that any change in this precariously balanced environment will bring OMG EMOTION to the scene. Even if it's an awesome outing, like, "hey, let's go to the swimming pool," it will be met with tears and fighting because, well, that's the only way your kids (by which I mean my kids) know how to process emotion, of any kind. So, what do you do?

Solution: Don't. Just wait. Does it really matter if you had planned to go to the pool at 12:30 p.m. (this was me today.)? No, it doesn't. Loosen up. My kids are happily painting on the porch right now. There is no reason for me to bust that up, just because I penciled in "pool" on my list. We can do it after lunch. Or after nap. It's not like the pool is a business meeting. Now, if you're meeting someone, you'll have to disturb the paradise. But don't worry about that too much. Chances are they'd be screaming anyway in about 30 more seconds. Regardless, try to bust in with a new activity just as the yelling begins, so that they're already disgruntled and the change in their plans looks like a good thing, acts like a distraction, rather than a disruption.


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