Inside the mind of a two year old: How do they work?
Do you find that it does not matter how many times you say “no” to your toddler they still continue to smear yogurt all across their face. Plus it does not matter how many times you ask your toddler to hurry up they drag their feet along the floor as they crawl to the front door. Sometimes I think toddlerhood is one massive plot which has been designed to make me go insane.
Of course toddlers are acting like this on purpose; they simply do not operate the same as adults. We have the ability to follow directions without a second thought and understand that “no” means “no”. A two year old however is in their own little world.
But there is hope as we take a look at the world through the eyes of your two year old….
For toddlers the world revolves around them, they simply are not capable of understanding anyone else’s needs apart from their own. They have no need to rush and live in the moment. If your toddler dawdles around like many do remind her/him of all the fun they will have once they are ready. When they get into a toddler program or playgroup and start to go regularly, they will start to make friends as well as memories. When you mention the program, they’ll make the connection and soon hurry up as they’ll have the fear of missing out. That program may do different activities to what you do at home, which makes it all the more exciting. Another tactic that works for many is to have a five minute timer and clearly explain that when the timer gets to zero and makes a noise that it is time to leave and get into the car.
If all fails and sometimes it will work to save the coaxing for another time and gently swoop them and put them in their car seat.
Toddlers can also become tiresome of their food very quickly; the food they enjoyed yesterday may not be enjoyed today. They simply are not in the mood for it or just not hungry. They have a difficult time to explain what they like and what they don’t. Weirdly your toddler may not eat bananas but will eat them if mashed up. Or will only have chicken nuggets if they are covered in sauce. Unfortunately there is no way we can understand the quirks.
So what do you do if your child cannot express what they like if their tastes have changed overnight? Lots of parents will offer a range of choices because most of the time it has nothing to do with the food they have been given it is just their way to take control. In order to win you need to step outside of the ring!
But the key is to try and not panic; toddlers will eat nothing one day but then make up for it the day after. If there are much more exciting things going on then a missed snack or meal once in a while will not hurt.