Sunday, February 8, 2009

Toddler Psychology

I (like every other person who deals with a toddler I am sure) have developed MANY strategies for tricking/cajoling/forcing Joseph into doing what I want or need him to do. The lengths to which I go seem entertaining to me, so I thought I would add a new list.

How to trick a toddler:

  • Make what you want him to do into a game or challenge. (At cleanup time: "Can you get all your crayons in here?”)
  • Call it a “treat.”
  • Get him to think it is his idea. (Sometimes if you just wait 15 seconds.)
  • Give him a choice between things that you chose! (If we have to leave and he isn’t too into the idea I often ask, “Do you want to walk or be carried?” Either way we are out the door.)
  • Have stuffed animals do it. (I often brush his elephant’s teeth and then he will let me brush his happily.)
  • Bribery. (“If you use the potty you get a treat!”)
  • Make a deal. (“Ok, one more book and then night-night.”)
  • Make it a routine. Do it every single day exactly the same way.
  • Time out. (This is for the serious stuff like hitting, biting, climbing, and refusing to let me change his diaper. If he was mean he has to say sorry and give us kisses. He gets one minute and it works! )
  • Let him bring a favorite book or toy. (He always brings books to bed. I have to periodically clean out piles of his books from his crib.)
  • Act really, super excited.
  • Act really, super silly.
  • Use something that has pictures on it. (For example his new potty seat has a bear on it which is deffinitely a plus.)
  • Ignore.
  • Tickle.
  • Proximity. (It’s the funniest thing, but if you get him to come over to his crib suddenly he wants to get in and is all ready to go to sleep.)
  • If it’s food, give him ketchup or some other dip.
  • Wait a couple of weeks. This issue will go away and a new one will replace it.
  • Ask him to “help” with something. He LOVES to “help” with anything and everything! (Hope that continues.)
  • Sing a song.

Something on the list works say, half the time. But it sure feels good when it does work! (I also must say that a lot of this list is true for fifth and sixth graders as well.)


JG said...

That is a GREAT list...and things to remember for next year! :)

Anonymous said...

Good list, I'll try some. He has trained you, has he not?


Anonymous said...

Ruth, how fast your learning...
I used to bribe Jenna w/ m&m's if she tinkled in the potty...what we will stoop to!!!! DG & BG