Toddler Tricks – 36

Ways to Trick your Baby:

Problem:  You can’t get anything done. You have a nice list of goals and things to do each day, and you’re positive everything is going to go just right if you can all just keep to schedule. But you can’t. Someone doesn’t want to go shopping at 11 a.m. and someone else doesn’t want to do anything but cling to your leg while you try to do dishes and convince the first to go shopping.  It’s a shambles.

Solution: Stop trying so hard. Take your cues from your kids. Don’t let yourself get into a situation (like I did, yesterday) where if you don’t go grocery shopping right now, you won’t have lunch food.  You’re in control, yes, and they’ll know it, but silently gauge their needs on any given day. Some days they’ll be more independent and play on their own. Some days, for whatever reason, they might want to watch a lot more TV than usual. As long as that doesn’t become a habit, I say go for it. They might be feeling under the weather and unable to tell you about it.  If they want to go outside, and you aren’t ready…don’t put them off until you strike off that chore you were sure you’d get done.  Some days are good for chores, but if you try to get housework done and your babies aren’t feeling it, it will take you three times as long and everyone will be frustrated and unhappy. So that if you had just taken them outside, you’d have been back inside by the time that chore is done anyway, and you’ll be able to take care of it once they’re down for nap.

Ways Your Baby Tricks You:

Problem: You’ve gone too far. You’ve shown them that what they want is what you’ll do. You thought you’d avoid tantrums and have nice days, but, alas, as their whimsies are catered to, one after another, their demands increase and their logic decreases. You are a slave to your children. What have you done?  (Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad, but, seriously, you need to go grocery shoppnig today, and you’re not about to let a few two year olds dictate your entire life.)

Solution: A toddler’s mood changes quickly, in whichever direction. Use this to your advantage. Have a loose schedule of things you would like to get done, including fun things, and see if you can get them done in any order possible. Vary your goals for the day, so that if writing a blog in the morning proves impossible, you can accomplish something else on your list, like going outside and enjoying the weather or cleaning with your crew of toddlers right behind you as a game. If they’re not into baking, like you thought they would be, don’t stick to the point at that very moment. Don’t make a big deal out of it (if you do, they’ll catch onto the fact that you’re changing your plans just to accommodate them, and they will take advantage) but act as if you didn’t really want to do that right then, anyway. “Huh, you know, I don’t really feel like baking. But what would be really fun is reading stories right now!” The alternate activity doesn’t even need to last long. “You know, I’m tired of reading stories. How about cookies? Well, we have to bake some first…want to help?”  This creates an illusion of choice for them without giving them a powertrip, and all the while, you’re checking off your list.

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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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