Today I posted a video on the JoyFilled Days Facebook page about why you should loosely schedule your toddlers days. You can go here to see it.
When my firstborn was only two- three years old, I started noticing that whenever I called her to come do something like–
Rebekah, come to mommy and get your sippy cup, or
come get your coat on, or
come and eat dinner,
she’d start to take a tantrum or whine. In fact, she staged a little protest.
She was playing so nicely just two seconds before. So, what would make her go from playing so nicely to pitching a fit? I mean, what kid doesn’t want their sippy cup?
I couldn’t figure out why she would throw those fits.
Then it dawned on me that she was used to running her own day. She played what she wanted, when she wanted and how she wanted. (And as long as she was happy, I was happy and I let her.)
I was usually just glad that she was not whining, breaking something or bored. In my estimation, a child quietly playing was a good thing. Sorta along the lines of let sleeping dogs lie or let sleeping children be. Quiet playing was a good thing.
SO, when I called her to come read a book with mommy, she saw my instructions as an interference. She was used to doing her own thing, thank you very much. She wanted to rule her own little day.
SO, I changed my strategy.
The next morning, I loosely scheduled her day.
I said, “Rebekah, it’s time for breakfast and after breakfast we have a special activity to do together.” (She was only two or so at the time so pulling this over on her was a cinch. he,he)
Then, after breakfast, we pulled out the crayons and colored together.
Then we put them away, and I announced that now it was time to play with blocks.
Then after we cleaned that up, it was time to take a walk. And so on…
I was taking back the reins and she was having too much fun to notice.
This helped me help her prepare for homeschooling someday.
If your child doesn’t listen to basic instruction without complaining or throwing a tantrum, it will be nearly impossible to teach them later on in a homeschool setting.
So take my advice. Plan out a few activities for your toddler, to make your transition from no school to school time an easier one for both of you!
If you want to give them a few choices, that is fine, but don’t let them be totally self directed all day. Young children need guidance, direction and boundaries.
Do your toddlers resist you every time you ask them to do something? How does Ephesian 6:1 play into this scenario? Do you think it will get better or worse if left unchecked? Tell me your thoughts.