Choosing your toddler battles

Marine Week Boston, 2010: M1A1 Main Battle Tan...

Image by Chris Devers via Flickr

I’m a strong believer that you choose your battles with a toddler carefully. This is for many reasons…

Your sanity
Surely you would drive yourself and your toddler mad, have a totally unfulfilled parenting experience if you pick them up on every misdemeanour. If someone dare mutters to me again “mummy should make you do as your told” they will get a mouthful. I can’t restrain my self on that a second time.

Letting toddlers learn
At some point I think you need to learn to let go and give toddlers the freedom to learn. Sometimes this does involve doing things that makes mess, makes you cringe or seems a little odd. But why not let toddlers be toddlers? We don’t need to rush them to be all grown up. Now is their chance, now is their moment to relish in the simple things. If something were to symbolise us letting go as parents, then check out our house…once pretty immaculate, fairly minimalist…now almost always cluttered with toddler items, or things of ours that Babe has misplaced around the property. My hand bags are a prime example – she thinks all of them are hers except my big Radley one which is a no go, more because she finds it too heavy to drag around. Then there are the contents of my kitchen cupboards, in the bathroom, the bedrooms, the living room – everywhere but the kitchen.

Before I had kids and the rise of gentle discipline
This is a familiar saying for me, and no doubt many other parents. My view of child discipline was so much different. I was more of the opinion that children should be seen and not heard – how antiquated is that? I was naive in the wilfulness of the little people and had little knowledge of child development and what helps the little people thrive. I’ve made an effort since to do a little reading, enough to make me consider the idea of gentle discipline and more creative ways of avoiding toddler battles through diversion and affection. Now the naughty step still does have a place in our house, but it’s a rarely visited location.

Choosing your battles
There are some things that I am not willing to give in on, and they are usually related to safety or downright inappropriateness. This morning I had a prime example, Babe did not want to eat all her porridge so dustbin Mama ate it, so she then got toast. While the toast was toasting she found a Kit Kat and was adamant that she eat this instead of her toast. She persisted for a whole 30 minutes and I won. Chocolate for breakfast is one of my boundaries…a no go.

Do you agree with me on this? If you have no go’s, what are they? No chocolate for breakfast like me?


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