Who Does Your Toddler Obey

At Child’s Voice we jokingly say ‘Be careful there’s something in the water’ meaning if you drink it you may end up pregnant. The Child’s Voice family has indeed grown, from within. We have celebrated the arrival of 5 children in the past 18 months and still have another 5 staff members to join this group. We are eagerly awaiting for the arrival of these new babies.

With that pretext, when I ran across this article in the Sunday Tribune I only thought it fitting for both our staff and our parents.

Your Toddler obeys dad but doesn’t listen to mom. Should mom step aside? By Heidi Stevens

Expert advice: NO, mom should not step aside.

“First of all, this is incredibly common”, says Tovah P. Klein director of the Barnard Center for Toddler Development and author of “How Toddlers Thrive: Children Ages 2 to 5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success”. (Touchstone). “This is the stage in a child’s life when they’re trying to figure out how much power they have, and they feel like they don’t have much.” So they decide to listen to one parent and tune the other out.

“One way for a child to take control is to say, ’I’ll decide who’s going to put my shoes on or fix me dinner,” Klein says. “The most important thing is for parents not to get caught up in the whirlwind.”

Parents who have different discipline styles-one is looser, one is stricter-often find their child responding more quickly and more willing to the style they best understand. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

“It’s good for a child to learn how to negotiate with two separate people,” Klein says. “But nobody should have a child who’s running circles around them. Remember that it’s not personal, and keep yourself in the game”, Klein says.

“Parent should give the message that they’re a united front,” she says. They can say to the child, ‘I understand you want dad right now, but we’re in this together.’

“They’re still learning what all these relationships mean, and it’s important for them to understand that you’re on a team together. They want control, but they don’t want too much control. They’re looking for limits” says Klein.

If possible, help each other see the humor in being bossed around by a toddler.

I couldn’t agree more, humor works wonders. We know that first hand here at Child’s Voice.

Best,
Dr. Michele