10 Things Toddlers Know—and Adults Don't
Toddlers have their own pint-sized point of view, which can leave even the most resilient mama scratching her head. So let's stop … breathe … and take a look at the world through a toddler's eyes.
There Really <i>Are</i> Monsters in the Room
The next time he deploys the “I’m scared of the dark” routine, take a moment to see his room through his eyes. Silhouettes of items on a shelf may seem frightening. The ticking of his clock and whirling of the ceiling fan are easily envisioned as monsters hiding in the closet or under the bed. Consider a night light—and always carry a can of monster spray…
It <i>Is</i> Too Cold
Although these excuses are tiring, you may be surprised to learn that the water in the shower or bath does feel colder to a tiny toddler than it does to a 6-foot-tall adult. Not convinced? Sit down in the shower tomorrow morning. You’ll see it’s cooler down at his level than when you’re standing up closer to the showerhead.
They Honestly <i>Don't</i> Know
Ever asked your toddler why he did something, only to get a wide-eyed “I don’t know”? The truth is, they don’t know. Your toddler doesn’t understand that the haircut he gave himself before the family portrait wasn’t a good idea. He just wanted to do it. His curiosity overpowers any reason that he is developing. While he may know he’s not supposed to cram a waffle in the DVD player, his curious nature is urging him to find out if it can actually fit.
Ketchup <i>Is</i> One of the Food Groups
Ketchup on eggs. Ketchup on broccoli. Ketchup on … everything! Your toddler’s refusal to eat anything unless it’s soaked with ketchup is the perfect time to adopt the “pick and choose your battles” theory. “If a child dips every bite of his potatoes, vegetables, or chicken in ketchup, he’s still eating the nutritious food,” says Dr. Jonathon Kaufman, a pediatrician from Illinois. So relax, Mama, and embrace this tomato-based condiment.
Bugs <i>Are</i> Cool
The fascination many big people have with Big Foot is similar to a toddler’s interest in crawling critters. Bugs are extremely cool to toddlers because they seldom see them in their house (we hope!). A toddler’s innocence usually prevents him from developing a fear of insects, and his intent to please sends him running to you to show off his latest discovery. Fun, huh?
Why Ask "Why"?
He actually does wonder why. Questions that are not easily explained without a lengthy scientific explanation such as “why is the sky blue?” are genuine issues your toddler is struggling to understand. Quite simply, he’ll persist asking “why” because he doesn’t understand the answer. Answering him honestly (Google it if you have to, Mom) often can satisfy his interest and end his interrogation.
Imaginary Friends <i>Do</i> Drink Tea
Mimicking social scenarios in her play—including friends only visible to her—helps your toddler gain social confidence. If your tot takes the time to set up a luncheon only to have one of her guests slighted, she feels she’s failed at hosting a good party. So include everyone during pretend play! Pinkies up, napkin in lap, Mom!
The Bathroom <i>Is</i> a Playground
Wonder why your toddler is obsessed with being in the bathroom? To your toddler the bathroom is a room full of billowy paper, blocks that smell yummy, and the perfect-sized swimming pool for toys, dolls, and building blocks. He doesn’t use an entire roll of toilet paper to mummify his teddy bear to be disobedient. His creative imagination sees the toilet paper as the perfect wrap to heal his bear’s broken arm.
It <i>Is</I> That Bad
When toddlers have to exercise control over their emotions or be redirected to focus their behavior, they are aware they don’t have full control over a situation. Expressing his emotions through crying is temporarily gives him back control. So acknowledging that you understand he thinks it’s horrible to wash his hair shows your respect of his feelings.
You Didn't Say <i>Not</i> To
Exact words can be critical to toddlers. Stating not to put doll clothes on the cat but omitting not to dress the dog can be interpreted as the freedom to do exactly that. Taking the time to explain yourself completely in age-appropriate terms helps everyone understand the boundaries. So repeat after us, Mom: No waffles in the DVD player.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN