PRACTICAL TIPS FOR PARENTS
LITTLE FINGERS WILL BATTLE TO CLOSE
BUTTONS AND TIE SHOELACES. Stick to pants with elastic bands at the top and shoes with Velcro straps.
ACCEPT A SLOWER PACE. Things won’t happen as fast as when you do everything for your little one. Allow more time for getting dressed, bathing and eating.
BE CREATIVE. Make up silly songs in the bath to keep the peace, like “Here’s the soap Lily’s gonna use to wash herself. First the neck, then the arms. And then your belly and your little legs.” The sillier your suggestions, the more she’ll love them. GIVE OPTIONS, BUT STAY IN
CONTROL. Have her choose between two different pairs of pants and shirts; in this way she feels she’s not being prescribed to, but you don’t give her the freedom of her whole wardrobe. DON’T MAKE A MOUNTAIN IF SOMETHING CAN STAY A MOLEHILL. You might not think a polka dot shirt goes well with striped trousers but it makes your toddler happy to go shopping like that. Leave her be.
OFFER VARIATION. There’s not only one way to eat pasta: You can put the penne on your fingers and pick them off, or you can use a fork. CUT CIRCLES FROM COLOURED PAPER AND PUT YOUR CHILD’S NAME ON
THEM. Stick these “balloons” in every room. In this way you remind yourself that you need to blow air into your child’s “balloon” and not deflate it.
STAY CALM. If you feel you’re on the verge of losing your temper, go and take a breather. Count to ten. Go back and try again.
BUY AN EXTRA TOOTHBRUSH. Brush her teeth with the one, and give her a chance to DIY with the other one. She gets to practise, and you get to clean her teeth. Two birds.
BE REALISTIC. You can’t expect your toddler to be ready on time every time. Don’t criticise; reward her when she is on time.