I used to feel like I was talking to a wall. My toddlers never listened to me – it was as if they had me on permanent mute. There I would be, angry and frustrated, asking them to start, stop, or simply sit down – to no avail. But I’ve got some great news: I finally figured out the secret to get them to listen! By golly, I should have been the one listening all along to the advice passed down by mothers for generations. Following are my top most effective phrases to use with toddlers so that you, too, can enjoy the calm of an obedient child.
Because I said so! Nothing stops the incessant whining whys of a toddler quite better than this. Who can argue with the logic? Don’t fall into the trap of engaging yourself in endless debates about why the sky is blue… Simply curtail the classic toddler procrastination tactic by presenting yourself as the omniscient authority on all matters. Period.
I will turn this car around right now! Want to stop backseat yelling/fighting/hitting toddlers in their tracks? Intimidate them with the threat of all heading back home. Whether or not you’re just on your way to pick up dry cleaning is irrelevant – nothing is more ominous to a toddler than the threat of Mommy turning the car around and heading back to the house. Dum Dum DUUUMMMM!
Just wait until your father gets home! Nothing – nothing – is more effective at curing bad behavior than the foreboding thought that Daddy will catch wind of it once he arrives home six hours from now. Never mind the fact that Daddy is the soft one who bends the rules, or that toddler hugs and kisses will make punishment nearly impossible; the simple threat of Daddy Coming Home To Deal With The Situation is more than enough to whip any toddler right into shape.
STOP IT! [Repeat] It’s simple, short, and sweet. And repeated enough times, toddlers are bound to listen. The words cut through chaos like a knife, immediately stopping toddlers in their tracks when they are up to no good. Notice how there is no opportunity for negotiation or misinterpretation – just a simple, clear instruction that will startle toddlers and prompt them to cease the poor behavior STAT.
If you don’t stop [X], there will be no [playtime/TV/book] tonight! We all know that implementing immediate consequences doesn’t provide toddlers the opportunity to truly think about and consider what they have done wrong. Therefore, it is always best to warn of some faraway future repercussion. This tactic furthermore encourages good behavior throughout the rest of the day, as the toddler will continuously stop to think about the forthcoming consequence before engaging in any further misconduct.
We don’t [push/hit/yell/throw]! Reminding toddlers about what we don’t do is the perfect way to prompt them to figure out what to do instead. They’re still too young to question the logic (since they have already committed said action they actually do, in fact, push/hit/yell/throw). And it opens up a whole world of possibility as to which behavior they should replace said action with instead. We should trust toddlers to know that kicking does not replace pushing, and this method practically ensures that this is the case.
Will you PLEASE [X]? It’s always better to kill them with kindness. Whereas an aggressive command could alienate the toddler, asking them to do something nicely will always yield desirable results. After all, everyone wants to be treated with tact and respect – and toddlers are no different. Asking them politely, calmly, and quietly to do something is clearly the most productive way to ensure that they actually do it. They may even thank you for respecting their feelings and asking nicely.
So there you have it. I hope these seven approaches provide you the same relief they’ve given me. No longer do I stand in frustration, ignored, as my
maniacs toddlers run wild around me. Now we are all happy, cool, and calm as we use our words to maturely communicate our needs and desires. If we can do it, you can too!