When you’re trying to find the right words to communicate with a toddler it’s tough.

Mine recently stopped breastfeeding. Right before his second birthday, after we’d been away for a weekend. In the distraction of somewhere new, he forgot how much he loves a booby snuggle.

Soon as we walked in our own front door, he marched me to our spot, pushed me to sit down, and barked “booby mummy”. I’d had two days of no nipple twizzles. It was great!

I took a concept he understood – broken.

“Mummy’s boobies have broken, let’s read a story.”

When we communicate with our kids, it’s really important to connect at their level. Don’t expect them to understand nuances. Don’t speak to them like they’re adults, meet them where they are… inquisitive little beings with a limited vocab.

If your kid won’t do what they’re told, try a different approach

Be clever about it!

When they’re small like mine, think what vague concepts they understand. When they’re a bit bigger, look at what matters to them.

My eldest is five. He wanted a pair of sandals, and we were in the shops looking at two pairs. My husband was pushing one pair, my kiddo pushing the other. They locked heads and kept going.

Soon as I told him he could have whichever pair he wanted, he smirked at Daddy.

I explained how the ones Daddy had would help him run faster because they weren’t as heavy (very important). I told him they both looked cool. And the dealbreaker? The ones you’ve got can’t go in water, so you won’t be able to have water fights in them.

Seriously, that was all it took to guide him towards the outcome we chose. No arguments. He chose the sandals.

No doubt someone will pipe up saying how manipulative that is – honestly, I’m fine with that!

Parenting is tough, so in my eyes, the simple things that make a big difference are AWESOME!

Hope this helps, let me know if you’ve done anything similar!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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