Friday, February 8, 2008

Update on Toddler Exasperation

Ali loves to dress up in little leotards, which she calls "ballerinas" and dance to classical piano music! All day, every day!

Since I'm in a very bloggy mood today, I'll write yet another post. I so appreciated the comments and e-mail advice I received from those of you going through the toddler frustrations too. Here are some things I'm trying to implement:

Mrs. Taft's ribbon trick. She suggests a piece of ribbon hanging next to the toliet paper tube that gives the child a hands on look at how long the piece of toliet paper should be.

Laura's suggestion that I have Ali use wet wipes for the less messy washings. She loves to wash in the bathroom but it would be so much easier to at least cut out some of the washings by teaching her to grab a wet wipe after a snack, use a wet rag from the kitchen or use hand sanitizer (as Mrs. Taft suggested).

Laura suggested a sippy cup to be toted around all day. We already do this but both my kids drain 6-8 sippy's a day and need constant refills. Maybe I could start the day with 2 full water cups for each kid within their reach and have 2 for her and 2 for her brother filled and in the fridge that she can help herself to throughout the morning.

My mom suggested that she's likely needing more activities and stimulation and so I'm thinking of different crafts we could do or places we could go during these cold winter days where she can get some of her energy out! Please share any ideas you have!

Laura suggested consequences for the taking off of clothes. When it was really, really bad, we used to enforce this firmly but we had grown out of the habit since she had stopped taking off everything in the car, for a while. I think I need to explain before each car trip that there will be a punishment if she removes her shoes, socks, hairbows, coat, etc. Thanks for the good reminder!

I agree with those of you who said I need to get her attention before giving the command. Maybe if I say, "Look at my eyes," or "Hands to your ears and open them so you can hear Mommy!"

I agree with Mrs. Taft that I can expect too much of a toddler at times. I can get very upset over non-eternal things. I think it's just the constancy of it all. I probably do expect way too much out of her and need to learn some patience and realize that toddlers dawdle and explore and take their time, as frustrating as this can be for those of us scheduled mommies!

I've considered making Ali wear only t-shirts to solve the wet sleeves ordeal. Or teaching her to roll sleeves before going potty.

Is it just me or does it seem like your toddler goes through spurts of testing their Mommy and needing some hardcore training and strong discipline for a while, almost to ensure them that the rules are still the rules? Then they can be fine for a while and we ease up a little, and the whole cycle repeats itself over and over.

One thing I've already done is made her clothing tub in her closet accessible so if she wants to change clothes, which is about 5 times a day, she can sort through them herself and put most of the outfits on all by herself!

All of the advice, prayers, and tips were appreciated! Thanks!


Kristin said...

Madison doesn't have any leotards, but she also loves to dance to classical music! Seriously, these two girls could be sisters with how much they are alike!

Kristin said...

P.S. But it's a good thing they aren't sisters because that would be one tired mommy to have to deal with these two girls at the same time! :-)

Mrs. Taft said...

Well, I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes my toddler will seemingly "unlearn" a skill or a rule that she previously had mastered. FRUSTRATION! I know that it happens partly because kids will relapse in some things before they sprint ahead (it's a growth spurt thing), but oh my goodness, it's hard to go from having something down pat to suddenly having to enforce, correct, and reinforce it! Oh well. No one ever told me that being a mom would be easy, I guess. Toddlers!!!

Amy said...

First, thank you so much for all your great ideas for v-day you left at my blog. Second, I remember all too well the frustrations of toddler-hood. It's probably not the best "coping skill" in the world, but if I could remember that "this too shall pass", it knocked down my frustration level a couple of notches. And yes, some days it was easier to remember than others. Hang in there! :)

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