Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The mysteries of toddlers explained

Finally, someone has unlocked the secrets to why toddlers don't do what they're told.

"If you just repeat something again and again that requires your young child to prepare for something in advance, that is not likely to be effective," Munakata said. "What would be more effective would be to somehow try to trigger this reactive function. So don't do something that requires them to plan ahead in their mind, but rather try to highlight the conflict that they are going to face. Perhaps you could say something like 'I know you don't want to take your coat now, but when you're standing in the yard shivering later, remember that you can get your coat from your bedroom."

I'm so glad they cleared that up. Now I won't have to pull my hair out every time Anna ignores me. Instead of saying, "Go to bed now!", I should say, "Hey, you can stay up and play all night if you want to, but tomorrow when I fall asleep on the couch because you were jumping on my bed so I wasn't able to get any sleep and you decide to fix yourself some lunch and you burn down the house, the number you'll want to dial is 911 and you'll realize then that you should get some sleep tonight. Although it may be difficult since we'll be sleeping in the van and it is likely to get cold, so be sure and take a blanket because you'll want it later."

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