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Home » Toddler

How to get your kids to do something – you do it too!

Submitted by on Sunday, 23 August 20094 Comments

I recently learned one of the best ways to get my toddle to do something is to simply do the thing that I want him to do.  He is going through a bit of a phase right now where he wants to do whatever we do, so this works perfectly.  If you are having troubles getting your toddler to listen to you, or to do something, try this out.  Here are two examples that illustrate my point:

kidslistenPutting on pyjamas – after a long day, I was struggling to get Smarty Pants to put his pyjamas on after his bedtime bath.  He insisted that he wanted to put shorts on.  I had no idea why, but I was flabbergasted.  No matter how much I insisted that he put his pyjamas on, he refused.  He absolutely wanted to wear shorts.  He wouldn’t tell me why.  Then I looked at myself. I was wearing shorts.  He simply wanted to wear shorts like me.  Can’t blame the kid for wanting to be like his father ;-) .  So I went and put on some pyjamas.  When I came back to put his pyjamas on, he put them on right away without any fuss or muss.  I said a little Hallelujiah.

Eating certain foods – one fine morning, I asked Smarty Pants what he wanted for breakfast.  “Bagels” he replied.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but we were in Vienna at the time, where bagels aren’t as easy to come by.  “We don’t have bagels,”  I responded.  Still, he insisted on having bagels.  The more I told him that we didn’t have bagels, the more he insisted on having one.  After growing a couple of grey hairs with the exchange we were having, I simply took out a banana and started eating it.  “I want a banana too!” he quickly exclaimed.  So I gave him a banana.  Then I made some breakfast for myself and, you guessed it, he wanted to have what I was having.  The bagels were long forgotten.  Why I bothered asking him what he wanted for breakfast in the first place, and didn’t just start making breakfast for myself, is beyond me.  I learned my lesson though.

There are a few other examples I could give you, but I think you get the point.  If your child sees you doing something, they are more likely to do it themselves.  Try to use this little nugget of knowledge to your advantage whenever you can.

If you have an example of your own, please leave a comment and share your story!

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  • I heard others say that this tactic works break for teeth brushing and flossing! If it looks fun, and you are doing it chances are your child will follow too.
    New Dad Chris´s last blog ..8 Cool Facts About Newborn Babies My ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    @Chris – you bet – good examples with brushing teeth and flossing!

  • Keith Wilcox says:

    My kids are a little the same way. The things you mention, like eating a bagel and wearing pajamas are wonderful little slices of family life. I think the desire for kids to be like parents also extends to unhealthy habits. For instance obese parents end up producing kids with terrible eating habits. I wonder if there has been a scientific study done on the malleable minds of children and parental influence. Seems there must be several. Oh, but not to get off point — sorry. Sweet stories :-)
    Keith Wilcox´s last blog ..Interviewing Alan My ComLuv Profile

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks Keith – you are right, it is really amazing how much influence we have as parents without even realizing it. Another amazing thing I find is when my son says something to my daughter that is the exact same thing that we say to her. It really makes you notice the things you say!

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