Monday, July 20th, 2015
LIFE LESSONS FROM A TODDLER
1. Timing and Transitions either make or break a day. Learning the timing of switching gears, activities, people, or places has to be graceful like catching a wave with the timing just right. Anticipate and prepare for the change and then move quickly and do it.
2. Sleep matters. Rituals to relax are key. So is habit built by consistency.
Lack of sleep turns little things into huge emotional turmoil.
3. My toddler teacher is quite commanding. She is direct. Keeps requests to a few short words said with authority. Popsicle! Outside! Potty now! The back-up is to lead the other person to what you want and point.
4. Attractive distraction is a major tool for redirecting energy. The drawing power of each needs to be weighed to the value of the redirect. Talk is not as good as physical example. Want to change from puzzles to drawing? Put the crayons on the table and begin to move puzzles away. To leave a playground takes lots of drawing power. Of course food is the best and ice cream the best of the best. Be positively enthusiastic about what is next.
5. Punishment doesn’t work and carries forward an attitude you will pay for later. Clapping like a fool for what you like and want does work to create new behavior.
6. Please and thank you actually ARE magic words and never get worn out. Ever. Teenagers take note. My kids could work me like crazy when they were polite.
7. Toddlers are just smart enough to be scared. Don’t talk them out of it.
Reassure some, teach some, and protect a lot.
8. Follow behind supporting– allowing freedom of movement and pace of learning and risk taking. Don’t lead or push. Just allow and protect invisibly.
9, Slow down. Speed ruins everything. One good moment leads to another good moment that leads to another and saves you lots of grief.
10. Lovely, adorable, smart toddlers can also be boring, trying and exasperating. Expect it, accept it, complain about it——-so you can go back to seeing the lovely, adorable, smart toddler.
Now substitute, “husband”, “boss”, “mom” and “me” for “Toddler”