PsyWar One: The Toddler Directive

Just last weekend, I had a taste of my daughter’s, hmmmm… wit?

ME: Go to sleep now, Abby…
ABBY: Aircon, daddeeee, pleeeeease.
ME: Later, dear. We’re trying to cut back on our power bill.
ABBY: But  can’t sleep without the aircon on.
ME: (turns on the aircon)
ABBY: Daddeeeee, dede (bottled milk) please.
ME: (prepares milk and hands it to her)
ABBY: Where’s Mouse (stuffed Minnie Mouse, her comfort toy) and Hotdog (her comfort pillow)? I can’t dede without Mouse and Hotdog. 
ME (annoyed): Go get them yourself, Ysabelle!

She gets off the bed and fetches her toys… when she came back in the room:

ABBY: Daddeeeee…
ME: What is it this time?
ABBY: Massage my feet please, so I can sleep…
ME: … and why?
ABBY: My feet are tired. I walked to get Mouse and Hotdog.

DSC_6527a

Daddy, can I make my own breakfast, please?

Left without my ever dependable girl Friday cum nanny this weekend — she took a ‘much-needed’ dayoff —  I kinda dreaded being left alone on daddy duties with my daughter, Abby. She’s 3 years old now — past what they call the ‘terrible twos’, yet I am still seriously scared of what’s in store after that phase… she was ‘quieter’ when she was two, y’see.

Of late, I noticed that she seemed to have discovered — and was hell-bent on exercising her — INDEPENDENCE.

Generally, it’s not a bad thing… if you don’t have a messy bathroom, kitchen or dining table to contend with after her insisting DIY-ing stuffs that her Ate Lera (the nanny) usually does.

Oooops... Sorry, daddeee...

Oooops… Sorry, daddeee…

Her tally today thus far?

  • One bottle of shampoo — spilled beyond recovery after wrestling it away from her in her ‘i’m-a-big-girl-now-so-I-can-bathe-myself moment
  • Two bath towels (hers and mine) — stained with her mom’s hair coloring-whatever
  • One dirty bathroom (which I already cleaned up)
  • A pile of kitchen and table utensils strewn about (which I already sorted out and stowed away)
  • A sticky floor drenched in milk (which I already mopped)
  • Assorted boxes of breakfast cereal opened, some contents I still have to recover from under the TV stand, the dining and center tables, the couch, and some other nooks and crannies all over the house
  • Sheets of kitchen and hand towel — wet and dirty from all the cleaning I had to do
  • One frustrated daddy

Fortunately, she’s asleep now… giving me time to collect my thoughts and strategize on how to deal with her when she wakes up.

Smooth-talking her didn’t work. Being firm and gruff only resulted in her bawling her heart out — much to my chagrin.

Lost, I turned my attention to the Internet, which led me to this:

Four Facts You MUST Understand If You Are Ever Going to Effectively Deal With the ‘Terrible Twos’ — or threes

1. Behavior is driven by Emotion, NOT Logic.

This is fundamental to everything, including understanding toddler behavior. Behavior, for any person of any age, is determined by their emotional state. People ACT from their emotions, and they later JUSTIFY their actions with logic. But small kids don’t have the ability to use logic, so they act purely from emotion. Keep this in mind when dealing with behavior in toddlers.

2. We tend to overuse the word “No” when we talk to our kids.

This causes problems with toddler behavior. You remember the story of the boy who cried wolf, right? The little shepherd boy was bored while watching the sheep so he decided to cry wolf and make the villagers come running. Before long, they stopped responding to his false cries. When a parent cries “No” at every little thing, kids stop listening. The parent’s cries fade into the background. Behavior problems in children can stem from this caveat. I’ll teach you multiple ways to get what you want without screaming “NO” at your child – and it simply works better!

3. If you want to have any chance at all of influencing your toddler’s behavior, you MUST have rapport first.

Rapport simply means having an emotional connection to another person. I’ll show you how you can learn LOTS of ways to create this crucial emotional bridge before you deal with children behavior problems.

4. Language is a powerful tool. Use positive language instead of negative language.

Hmmm…. will this work on her?

Stay tuned.

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About Seeing with Brahmin eyes
My sense of humor can be keen, sarcastic, silly or corny -- sometimes all at once. I enjoy meeting new people with no preconceived ideas about what or what is not possible. You get much more out of life by being open minded and willing. I'm an easy going, good-natured person who loves life and loves people. I'm both optimistic and realistic and pretty objective when it comes to assessing situations, events, etc. In general I am a very positive person and you'll usually find we with a smile on my face.

3 Responses to PsyWar One: The Toddler Directive

  1. sjanima says:

    Happy Father’s Day. Enjoy fatherhood, you are the best gift of God to Abby!

  2. arjekins says:

    Good morning on “the day after”. . .Betcha, those tips would work dealing with adults as well.

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