I’m not sure if you knew this, but parenting a toddler is hard.
These pint-sized humans are full of sass and dirt, and know exactly how to push your buttons to try and get their way. Allison is no exception; she’s a sweet girl, but try and change something in her routine, and she goes insane. Mornings are the worst; have you ever tried to get a toddler ready that didn’t want to get ready? Yeah. I feel for you. I’ve had to work to figure out how to get her to listen and make mornings, and the whole day, go more smoothly. Luckily, I found someone that Allison looks up to, that will actually make her stop and pay attention.
His name is Daniel Tiger.
I’ve written a few posts on Daniel before (See: Potty training and how Daniel Tiger changed the way I parent my toddler), but really, his shows are a staple in this household. He’s encouraged Allison to try new foods, to work together, to keep trying, and now to help transition into new activities. The magic happens in the episode with the song, “It’s almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do!” Instead of just telling her to get up to get ready (Which causes major fits), I leave some extra time in there to help her transition. Is it tedious? Sometimes, but it works.
It causes less tears
Allison’s such a delicate little flower. At the first sign of a firm or raised voice, she freaks out and gets that lower lip pout, and once that starts, it’s all over. You can forget about leaving on time, because she turns into a bawling pile of mush screaming about “I don’t want to go anywhere!” or “I don’t want to do anything, ever again!” And this used to happen just about every time we got ready to leave.
But with One More Thing, she realizes, “Hey, I still have some time to play!” And she’ll happily choose the last thing she wants to do. If you have a sensitive toddler like I do, I feel for you, because it’s tough. But One More Thing really has changed Allison’s temperament in the mornings, and I’ll continue doing this as long as it works!
It creates a routine
As a mom, you know that toddlers thrive on routine. If one thing gets thrown off, their world comes crashing down and there’s no getting them back up again. One example, for us, is at dinnertime. I’m that mom that lets my daughter play with her tablet for 40+ minutes while I cook, every day, because it’s easy and keeps her happy. If something changes- like we get home late and all I have to do is make a 2-minute sandwich for us- and she doesn’t have time to play with her tablet, she explodes, throwing herself on the ground because she ALWAYS plays with her tablet before dinner. But it’s the strangest thing: Let her play with it, even for just the 5 minutes it takes to throw dinner together, and she’s perfectly fine.
It’s that routine that makes a toddler’s world go round, and I aim to keep that routine in place as much as possible. If I try to tell Allison we don’t have time for one more thing, it just doesn’t work now. It’ll take longer to calm her down enough to get ready than it will to just let her do one more thing; so it’s all on me to make sure I leave plenty of time to help transition.
It lets her know who’s in charge
I know a lot of what I said above makes it sound like Allison rules our lives, but it’s really the opposite. Allowing her to do one more thing still puts me in charge, because after that thing is done, I’m strict about letting her know it’s time to get ready. Sometimes there are still tears, but a rule is a rule. If I bend even a little, she’ll try the same thing again, every single time. Toddlers are smart, and they learn really quickly how to play you. Just keep at it and make sure that routine stays in place!
With all this being said, keep in mind that this probably won’t work all the time. Of course not, because we have toddlers that are unpredictable and will throw fits even if what comes next is what they WANT to do. But consistency is key, and even if it doesn’t work all the time, One More Thing is a sure-fire way to create a routine and help your toddler transition. Thanks, Daniel Tiger, for once again helping moms everywhere with creating pleasant toddlers!
Do you, or did you, also suffer from helping move your kids along during the day? Feel free to post suggestions in the comments; I know we need all the help we can get!