| Profs. Phillip Serrato, Michael Borgstrom, |
Angel Daniel Matos, Derritt Mason, and Tishna Asim
You can also follow Dr. Mason on Twitter or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s be honest – toddlers are cute, curious and funny but they can also be challenging and highly erratic. Prone to tantrums, making a mess and not listening, often it can feel like they’re deliberately testing your patience and your sanity.
When it happens over and over again, it’s easy to slip into a negative mindset about their ‘misbehaviour’ and start taking it personally as parents. Because despite your best effort and guidance, your child is choosing to defy you and ‘make things difficult’, or so it seems.
Introducing toddler expert Anthony Semann
Anthony Semann sees things differently. A former early childcare educator who’s now a well-respected researcher and keynote speaker on the topic, he knows what really makes toddlers tick. He’s also a strong advocate for young children, who warns against using derogatory labels like ‘terrible twos’ and ‘three-nager’ and much prefers to present them in a refreshingly positive light.
At Babyology’s recent Tackling The Toddler Years workshop, he celebrated toddlers as “energetic explorers” and “tireless experimenters” while also acknowledging the tendencies they’re (in)famous for.
“As a toddler, I was not built to sit still, to keep my hands to myself, to take turns, to stand in line and to keep quiet all the time. I need motion, I need novelty, I need adventure, I need to engage in this world with my whole body, and I need to play.”
Then he shared this game-changer – a key to simultaneously understanding your little one and making parenting a lot less stressful:
“See the world through their eyes.”
A fresh perspective on toddlers
It’s a simple shift of focus, but it’s one he says can drastically change how you view your toddler’s behaviour. Seeing things from their point-of-view will help you understand their feelings and unravel the method in their madness. It will grant you more patience and empathy, which will dissolve any ‘us versus them’ animosity that’s been building.
So when they crack it in the car in a traffic jam, it’s not because they’re being ‘emotional’ or want to make things worse, they’re just bored and want to get out (probably like you do).
“We just assume that children are born knowing how to behave and they [aren’t],” says Anthony. “They’re trying to figure out the behaviour of others and they’re trying to figure out the world around them. They may not behave in ways that we think are appropriate, but it is appropriate for someone who we still count their age in months.”
Reframed through this gentle lens, their behaviour becomes less about being deliberately disobedient or clumsy, and more about them slowly learning and navigating their brand new world. With that in mind, some of toddlers’ most ‘annoying’ habits – like spilling food or drinks – can be seen more as developmental growing pains than them consciously trying to ruin your day.
“[They’re] moving from dependence to independence and again that can be really challenging when your toddler wants to feed themselves and you see half the food is actually on the ground, not in their mouth,” explains Anthony.
“They are going to drop things because they’re learning to take care of themselves … we sometimes think toddlers are out to get us but actually developing some coordination of your muscles takes a while and you fumble through it as a [young] human being.”
Sharing can be another pain point for toddlers but seen through their eyes, Anthony says it’s easy to see why they can struggle. Of course, they don’t want to give up their beloved toys with those random kids in the park no matter how much you insist on them being ‘nice’ – they’re their toys, after all!
In this case, Anthony suggests parents lead by example and help show them the way.
“How am I going to teach a child to share? Well number one, I’m going to demonstrate sharing with them,” he explains. “So I’m going to sit at this dinner table with some pencils and some paper and I’m going to start colouring in. They’re going to be like ‘what?’ and I’ll say ‘I’d like to share with you’. That’s what I would do – intervene by teaching it.”
Above all, Anthony urges parents to celebrate their little ones, to be patient and understanding. They might be a handful but that’s because they’re learning, growing and blooming on a daily basis. Soon they’ll be bigger and onto the next phase, so enjoy this cheeky trip while it lasts.
This post is brought to you by NAN® Toddler, an event partner for the Tackling The Toddler Years workshop.Source: https://babyology.com.au/toddler/behaviour-and-discipline/the-genius-tactic-that-will-make-parenting-your-toddler-easier.html
Young man around town - look at that hairstyle!
The reverse of the photograph indicates it was taken in Salisbury -
when Harry was undergoing Army training?
We have adapted to living in Annapolis, Maryland. We have figured out how to park on the narrow, crowded streets. We have learned how to negotiate the freeways and ride the Metro and busses. We still think driving here is a major life-threatening challenge, but we have survived so far. We fully understand why Washington, D.C. is listed as one of the worst places in the US to drive. In fact, Forbes lists it as the worst. Our own former hometowns of Mesa and Scottsdale rank in the top ten best places to drive.
Annapolis, Maryland is a very interesting town. We are surprised at how small it is. It has about a third the population of Provo, Utah. We appreciate the beautiful old buildings and houses. But old means almost inaccessible and difficult to negotiate. We are still learning and hope we don't get lost on our way out of town to return to Provo.
We love working with the other Senior Missionaries. They have all sacrificed a considerable part of their lives to come and do hard work at the Archives and the one couple assigned to the Naval Academy. They are fantastic in their dedication. We have enjoyed dinners together and even a barbeque. We have almost no contact with the other missionaries, either senior or young except the pair of young missionaries assigned to the Branch where we attend our Sunday meetings.
I am grateful for the opportunities we have had to help with conferences and presentations. We had one opportunity to go to a conference for FamilySearch and we enjoyed that. Everything we do with genealogy and FamilySearch seems to involve a lot of work.
We have enjoyed being near to Washington, D.C. and having the opportunity to visit so many of the museums and memorials. We are fortunate that both of us can still walk fairly long distances and have the health to do so. We have walked many miles in a single day. For example, yesterday we went to the Library of Congress National Book Festival and ended up walking about three and a half miles.
I will keep writing about our experiences until we return to Provo.