If you are reading this, you are probably between 10 and 36 months old and are doubting your potential to be a successful toddler.
Let me guess? You see other toddlers throw themselves on the ground and behave as if the end of the world is nigh only to be scooped up moments later by a parent or minder and given the thing they want? You want that too but you haven’t been able to achieve it? You parents are not driven entirely crazy by your behaviour but all your friends’ parents are losing the plot?
Don’t worry. You can do it too. By following these simple rules, you can reach your potential before it is too late.
1. There is no phase: We’ve all heard the muttering between parents when their toddlers seem impossible to manage, “It is just a phase”. Don’t let them fool you. There is no phase. YOU are in charge. YOU have the power to decide whether or not you get what you want out of todderhood.
2. Learn from your mistakes: Your first attempt at a tantrum was scuppered by a know-it-all mother who fooled you into calming down? So what? Learn from your mistakes. Now that you know her tricks, you just have to repeat the performance and stick to your guns. She has been lulled into a false sense of security and believes the same tricks will work on you again. Oh no, think again lady!
3. Repetition is key: Remember, tantrums are not your only weapon. Repetition of what parents consider unsuitable behaviour is a powerful tool. Climbing onto the kitchen table when no one is looking, emptying the cupboards of their contents, playing with the toilet brush – these are all examples of easy-to-perform activities which, if repeated often enough, will drive your parents to the levels of frustration you always hoped to achieve.
4. Trust your instincts: Don’t listen to the contant cries of “No” and “Don’t do that!”. Remember that you were born to be a toddler. It is a natural progression from babyhood. All that lying around in your pram wasn’t a waste of time. It allowed you to gather information, to soak up the behaviour of the adults and children around you. It has allowed you to learn which buttons to push to get your way. Trust your instincts and go with what you feel. If you can get near a phone or tablet, disable it in some way. Your mind will guide you and let you know the exact combination of buttons to press to set it to a foreign language or turn the screen sideways.
Following these guidelines will set you on the path to becoming the kind of toddler that other mothers gossip about. Goody two shoes pre-schoolers may even look to you for inspiration. But don’t underestimate the amount of work involved. At first it may seem not to be worth it, but once you get a taste of getting your way, you won’t regret having put in the effort.