Romanticizer and Geek-in-Residence

by Laurentoddler help

Is your toddler or preschooler being belligerent, getting in the way of daily tasks that must be done? Instead of setting ultimatums and doling out discipline, put them to work. This is a pretty well-worn trick, but honestly I have to remind myself of it over and over again in the moment.

Folding laundry is one of the worst tasks to do around my kid. When he sees a stack of freshly folded clothes he starts laughing maniacally and will not rest till the stack becomes a haphazard pile on the floor. To counteract, I’ve given him some clothes for  HIM to fold–or, I’ll ask him to take some of his clean clothes into his room (they don’t stay folded but…honestly I’m way past worrying about that).

Kids at this age WANT to feel useful.  Instead of telling them to leave mommy alone while she sweeps up, let her hold the dustpan. If they’re tugging your pants while you’re mixing batter, try giving them their own miniature bowl to stir.  Sure, you’re not going to achieve your intended household goals as quickly and as cleanly as you may have planned, but at least the job’s getting somewhat done, with everyone staying happy.