Sometimes I feel like I’m learning to parent a toddler/preschooler all over again. I think I did okay the first time around, but my boys are two different kids and the things they challenge me with are different. Bee is feisty and copies his big brother and loves to test my reaction to things. I find myself trying to use the same strategies with both boys, but given their 3 year age difference that isn’t always effective. Sometimes I find myself letting behaviors slide with Bee, probably because I’m
stretched a bit thinner this second time around and because his misbehaviors would be easy to ignore, but I know that isn’t a
good idea. It will be much harder to establish rules and boundaries
with him at 10 years old than at 3. Now is the time. So…
Here are three “tricks” that I’ve been using a lot lately with Bee, mainly for getting him to cooperate with me and do what he needs to do. These are things he responds really well to, in part because they are playful and engage him, as opposed to demanding he do what I tell him. I thought I’d share my favorite tricks, and I’d love to hear what works well with your preschooler!
Pretend I’m Sir Topham Hatt – So you guys have probably picked up by now that my 3-year-old is obsessed with Thomas The Train. (Obsessed may be an understatement.) Our new thing is to pretend I’m Sir Topham Hatt and he is
Thomas. If your kids watch the show, you know Thomas is all about
pleasing Sir Topham Hatt. The show is actually a little creepy in its
emphasis on obedience and being “really useful,” but whatever. I use my
deepest Sir Hatt voice and tell Bee what I need him to do, like brush
his teeth, and he gets all excited to follow along. The Thomas-Hatt gig
probably won’t work if your kiddo isn’t in the Thomas Fan
Club, but you get the idea. I’m sure other characters could substitute.
The Timer – When it is time to finish playing or get out of the bathtub or stop some other fun activity, the timer works great. This evolved from us telling him “Two more minutes” to help him transition when we need him to wrap up. I finally realized there is a timer right on my phone (how long did that take me?!), which means I can use it anywhere. The timer makes “two more minutes” more objective and concrete, and Bee loves telling me which sound he wants to hear when the timer goes off, like the barking dog or the motorcycle. Thank goodness there is no train sound, or I’m sure we’d be hearing that every.single.time!
Okay, now it’s your turn! Scroll on down to the comments and share YOUR favorite strategies.