Recently, we went to bed the parents of two girls under 2 and woke up the parents of a sweet 8 month old and a toddler with a bit of an attitude problem – ha! No really, our oldest is not crazy on the terrible twos, but we did notice an attitude adjustment was in order.
We suddenly heard, “No!” and, “I don’t like it!” a lot more than we had just a few days earlier. And we had some interesting conversations when we heard these things.
But it was a few days into this new, “I don’t like it!” phase that my husband brought my formerly amenable and agreeable toddler in to wake me up after an afternoon nap with a tantrum…on my bed! Yes…on MY bed. As I sleepily tried to come up with a way to stop the madness, an idea struck me and I lunged at it. And it worked! And it has continued to work – even though we kind of are getting past the, “I don’t like it!” (to everything) stage.
“What is it?”
I remembered what my child does like and tried to remind her of them with a game she likes.
We played hide and seek with her “likes.”
I jumped up off the bed. Looked at her (screaming, crying, beautiful mess that she was at that moment) and I asked her, “Where did your likes go?” Then I set out looking for them out loud. I walked into the bathroom and looked high and low for her likes. “Are they in here…no, I don’t see them.”
I walked into the closet and searched out those elusive likes.
I came back to find my toddler a little bit quieter and asked her, “Where are your likes?” I told her they were not in the bathroom or the closet. Then I asked her if they were in her room. She got up, stopped crying, started walking into her room.
Suddenly she had a new thing to do!
We walked all around the house, upstairs, downstairs looking for those likes.
And we found them, hiding downstairs! Once we got downstairs I asked her if she liked her favorite toys.
I asked her if she liked Mama (a previous target of, “I don’t like it!”),
I asked her if she liked Dada (another victim).
And then we celebrated. “Yea! We found G’s likes! We found her likes! Yea! She likes [her toys], she likes Mama, she likes, Dada! Yea!”
And the tantrum was over! Forgotten! Success!
Do you have any creative parenting ideas? Solutions to the problems we face with toddlers? I would love to hear them! Please share!