Wednesday, August 7, 2013

{FF} Toddler Tips Edition

Linking it up with Hallie again!
Make sure to head back over there for the better bloggers ;)
and now...
{Five Favorite Tips for Dealing with Toddlers}

1. Use a Timer. 
No joke, this trick is miraculous. Brothers are fighting over a toy? No problem:
Mom: "It's Daniel's turn, Leo, I'll set the timer, and then it will be your turn!"
Leo: "Awright!"
I credit my friend Kaylinne for this one. She works at a daycare, and uses her watch all day long to give kids turns. The day she came over and showed me this one, Leo and Gabriella kept taking turns holding a toy. Long after they weren't even playing with it, they kept passing it back and forth when the time was up! This works for everything. Nap-time, bath-time, time to go inside, taking turns etc. I don't even have to have a timer, Leo buys it when I tell him I have a timer in my head and then say "beep-beep! Timer's up!".

2. Bedtime Picture Book.

Leo was being, shall we say, difficult for bedtimes. My awesome Mom-Mentor friend Ellie gave me this great trick. I made a little picture book from photos I took and a cheap plastic soft photo album. The pictures are of Leo going through the steps of getting ready for bed and being asleep in bed. At the end of the book, it describes how Leo gets stickers for a good bedtime. It took a few days of no stickers, then Leo had the hang of it, and behaved beautifully at bedtime. He's not always peachy, but usually he is brought around by "...oh, I guess you aren't getting a sticker in the morning for a good bedtime...". I don't even have to read the book with him before bedtime anymore...but I have it in case!

3. "When" consequences.

This is another tip that I learned from Ellie way early on, and I love using it. Instead of saying "IF YOU HIT YOUR BROTHER ONE MORE TIME YOU ARE GOING TO TIME OUT!!!", you say "WHEN you hit your brother, you sit on the stairs." It sounds the same at first, but it's ever so subtly different. In fact, instead of threatening your children, you are teaching them that there are consequences to their actions. The results of their behavior are up to them, then, not you. They choose to behave poorly, they get to sit on the stairs, and so on. Also, you aren't threatening them all the time. That is nice too. 

4. Say what you mean.

This one can be summed up b-e-a-utifully by Kendra over @ Catholic All Year in this post. Basically, parenting with authority so that your kids listen and do what you say can be summed up by that one phrase: say what you mean. Always. When kids grow up understanding that you always say what you mean, they understand that you aren't budging, there will be, they stop pushing against you (in a perfect world, of course, but hey--this works pretty well;))

5. You don't always have to say no.

Sometimes we get caught up in saying no. We have to say it A LOT throughout the day, mostly so that our children don't involve themselves in life-threatening experiments with the world around them (no, you may not use that knife; no, you may not run into traffic; no, you may not eat all of the cookie dough...). But I think that we get caught up in saying no so often that we forget it's not going to kill us to say yes sometimes...when he asks you to build him a train track, or to play outside, or to read one more story at bedtime. Don't cave into being the yes-man-mom, but know that you can say yes in a lot of situations, and it just might be easier to play outside for 15 minutes, and have a happier kiddo, than to say no and have to deal with the fuss-fest.

There you have it! Now, head back on over to Hallie's to join in the favorites fun! :0)


  1. My husband was just asking me to make one of those books for our toddler...I made one for our eldest son (not so many) years ago to help him establish good hygiene (hygiene for boy! I crack myself up!) as a toddler. Except I printed random stock images of kids from the internet brushing their teeth and reading books - haha! :) Love the idea of personalizing it! Great info on toddlers. We're sailing into the 3's again soon and I'm pulling out all my fave parenting books to hopefully get ahead of the curve!

    1. I was so happy with how well it worked :). My friend does a similar thing for her older kids for getting ready for school in the morning, but she does little laminated bookmarks with pictures of each step that they can carry with them along the way.
      I love parenting hacks! :D


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