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Home » Advice and Tips, Toddler

Another Lesson in Toddler Obedience

Submitted by on Tuesday, 14 October 20083 Comments

Smarty Pants was playing with some dominoes today and left them lying all over the floor when he was done.  So as not to slip on them later and crack my head open, and to keep the apartment looking relatively tidy, they needed to be put away.

Who will clean up the toy mess?

Who will clean up the toy mess?

How to get Smarty Pants to put them away?  It took a few tries, but I got there…

First attempt – ask nicely.  “Can you please put the dominoes away?“  Response:  “No.”

Second attempt – try some convincers.  “You know the rule is to always clean up your toys when you are finished playing with them.”  Response:  “No.”

Third attempt - appeal to reason.  “Look at all the dominoes all over the floor, do you think it looks nice?“  Response: “No.”  (But that was a good “No” this time).

So do you think we should clean them up?“  Response:  “Yes.”  (ooohh, I got a Yes!).

Okay, lets clean them up!“  Response:  “Can I help you Papa?”  (I am telling the honest to God truth, those were his words).

I tell you, this is a true story.  I nearly keeled over and died on the spot.  I was shocked, amazed, and proud of myself all at the same time.

So, what can we learn from this little episode?  Well, although it might not work every time, try appealing to your toddler’s sense of reason when trying to get her to do something.  If she can see the reason behind doing something, and actually decides herself that it needs to be done, she is much more likely to do it!

Of course, this is assuming that your toddler has a sense of reason, which is not always the case.  Depending on the time of day or how tired your toddler is, he may not be able to see the forest for the trees when it comes to reason.  But for everyday situations where you can work in a decent exchange like the one above, you have a shot with this method.

Give it a try when the time is right and see how it goes!  I will definitely keep this one in my arsenal.  Join the jam and let us know what you think by leaving a comment!


flickr photo of toy mess courtesy of [ cas ]

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