Ways to Trick your Baby:
Problem: Toddlers have very rigid routines and definitions as to how the world around them needs to be working. Any minute detail you forget can be grounds for a knock-down, fall-out tantrum, and these things can escalate before you even figure out what the problem is.
Solution: (and this was touched on in the guest blog, but it’s worth a specific mention in this case) Appeal to their sense of the silly. Toddlers do have a great sense of humor, and they love anything ridiculous. If you can right a minor faux paus on your part by shaking your head in an exaggerated fashion and laughing out loud “Noooo, that’s not what we do! Silly mommy!” you’ll find that four out of five times, they’ll go along with you, as if you’d played a great joke on them. I learned this from my daughter Dulce, quite by accident, the other week. I went to put her in the wrong car seat, and she immediately went to silly. “Nooo!” she said, laughingly. When she saw I was serious, she started readying herself to cry, and I realized my mistake. I took her lead. “Oh, Dulce! You’re right! Noooo! That’s not where you go! Lilly sits there! Silly mommy! I got you!” And she laughed and laughed. Crisis averted.
Ways your Baby Tricks You:
Problem: Sometimes your toddler will throw a tantrum not at anything you’ve done or could prevent, but just randomly. Just because. They pick something they arbitrarily determine should be reality, and they are ready to blow the nanosecond they find it cannot be done. As if you have willed it impossible because you clearly hate them. Or perhaps they’re version of reality simply does not fit into the day you had planned. Either way, prepare for meltdown (especially if they are teething.)
Solution: Again, apply to their sense of silly. They eat it up. If you can catch their darkening mood early enough you can turn it right around on them and make it all part of the joke. For instance, a potential tantrum because they can’t take the neighbor’s dog inside with them becomes, “Noooo! Silly girl! That doggy doesn’t belong INSIDE the house! Where does that doggy go? … That’s right! Outside! You are too silly. Hahaha.” The difference between this solution and the last solution is that in the first, you are pretending you played a joke on them. In this solution, you are pretending they played a joke on you. I am consistently amazed at how well this works, and I’ve been using it for quite a while now with great results. Kids – they love a good gag.
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