The Morning Routine. If you have daily arguments with your toddler about the simple things in life, you’re not alone. It’s at least me and you.
A regular one we have is about getting dressed in the morning.
I find I have to be a politician in the morning, judge his mood and try and read what sort of reaction I’m going to get from a simple question.
This is something I’m getting better at as I learn to be a parent. Asking my lad if he’s looking forward to going to kindy that day can get anything from a huge smile, massive YES and a full detailed plan for what he’s going to do and who he wants to play with, to a “No, I don’t wanna go to kindy, I don’t wanna go ANYWHERE this day!”
As I said, I’ve learnt.
So after making him toast or cereal for breakfast, I’ll just ask what he’d like on his Kindy sandwich, and I give him two options. He has to pick one. From then we’re normally on a roll.
The next challenge in the morning is getting dressed.
The request, “Mate, come and get dressed now,” can get a wide variety of responses as well. Some days it’s easy. On other days I have to get him to watch Octonauts and talk to him about Peso while I sneakily change his top. Then there are the days of massive tantrums. Luckily he’s getting older and better.
My latest strategy I came across by accident – reverse psychology. It was a usual day and he was in a good mood. After telling him it was time to get dressed he grabbed his clothes and I said I’d give him a hand, he said, “Don’t worry, I can do it myself”.
I love reverse psychology with kids. I said to him, “No you don’t, you don’t know how to do get dressed by yourself.”
Then it became a toddler tennis match between yes I do / no you don’t / yes I do… and on it went. Job done.
The next day, I got smarter again, “I’ll come and help you, but wait for me … yesterday you started getting dressed without me. Don’t start yet, I’ll be there in a second.”
By this stage he was giggling uncontrollably and thought he was playing a trick on Daddy by getting dressed where I couldn’t see him. Bingo. “Dad, I’m dressed, I didn’t need your help again.”
This has worked four days in a row now. It’s our running joke that he knows we’re doing and he thinks it’s just hilarious.
What’s the bet it all backfires on me tomorrow and I’m back at square one!