As I sat here this morning, thinking:

"Should I write something today?"

I considered the way of the toddler, or, rather, the secret New Way of getting toddlers to do things when their favourite response to any question posed is, "no".

That's right, people, we're in the "no" phase. At first, it was a little frustrating. Now, we as parents are dealing with it. Indulge me, gentle reader, as I lead you through the evolution of the New Way.

The early days --
Parent: Shall we go get some cereal?
Toddler: No!

Later --
P: Hey, I have a great idea. Let's go get some breakfast! We can have cereal!
T: No.

Now --
P: Do you want Shreddies, or Life cereal?
T: Shreddies! Yeah, Shreddies!

I kid you not. It was right there in front of our faces. Plain as day. We've been hearing that when it comes time for children to exert their independence, it's good to give them the feeling that they're deciding their own fate. It's as easy as that, my friends.

Now, I hear myself giving such choices:
"Do you want the green bib or the red bib?" (red bib, almost always)
"Do you want to brush your teeth with the Chicken (Little) toothbrush, or the Eeyore toothbrush?" (Chicken)
"Do you want to put your right shoe on first, or your left shoe?" (random foot shoots up)

This morning, after pondering my initial question, I rephrased using the New Way: Do I want to post now, or later?!

Next on Speak into the Mike:

"See, see.
Oh, see.
See Dick coerce your child.
Coerce, Dick. Coerce!"

Posted bythemikestand at 1:07 PM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

Sassy said... 1:44 PM, April 13, 2006  

Yeah they taught us that in child development. I filed it away for when I have children. I'm glad to know it works!!

coolbeans said... 2:37 PM, April 13, 2006  

I ask The Toddler, "Do you want to eat?" and he says, "No." and then I don't have to fix him anything. I like it.

He eats for the sitter, anyway.

jenB said... 3:30 AM, April 14, 2006  

i'll warn you, that stopped working for mine a couple of months ago. everything is now just responded to with a neck cracking head shake for NO. ugh.

Jessica said... 3:10 PM, April 14, 2006  

Just have to point out that I love your use of "favourite" with the 'u'. Canadiens are so endearing to me.

gingajoy said... 4:35 PM, April 17, 2006  

indeed, it is all about withholding choice, while at the same time maintaining the illusion of choice...

but it's true--they cotton on before too long. "would you like an apple or banana?" "uhhhmmm. how about a cookie?"

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