Make it Talk
This was another tip that I initially thought was totally ridiculous. I guess that’s what happens when you’re too serious as a parent and forget how to lighten up. I never thought it would work on Gavin but it did!
Pantley quotes Robert Scotellaro from “The Funny Side of Parenthood” – “Reasoning with a two-year-old is about as productive as changing seats on the Titanic.” Indeed, we often forget that our children don’t have the grip on logic that we do – heck! Sometimes we don’t even have it!
Anyway, when I read the example from this segment, I could stop my head from nodding along. It was such a typical example of Gavin and me, albeit with a few differences. Does this sound like life with your toddler?
Parent: Ryan! Time to change your diaper.
Ryan: No! (As he runs off)
Parent: Come on, honey. It’s time to leave. I need to change you.
Ryan: (Giggles and hides behind sofa)
Parent: Ryan, this isn’t funny. It’s getting late. Come here.
Ryan: (Doesn’t hear a word; sits down to do a puzzle)
Parent: Come here! (Gets up and approaches Ryan)
Ryan: (Giggles and runs)
Parent: (Picks up Ryan) Now lie here. Stop squirming! Lie still. Will you stop this! (As parent turns away to pick up a new diaper, a little bare-bottomed toddler is running away.)
I swear, when I read that, it was like Pantley had a spy camera in our house! How many times have I had this same scenario play out when trying to force Gavin to do something?
For situations like these and many others, Pantley recommends using the tactic of making inanimate objects talk. In her example, it was to make the diaper talk to Ryan to get his cooperation. As I said, I didn’t believe it would work on Gavin but it did – he cooperated without having me chase him around the house and wrestle him to the ground.
By giving a voice to inanimate objects, you’ve given your toddler something new and fun to focus on. It doesn’t always work – like when I tried to make the water talk to Gavin in order to get him to drink it – but “make it talk” is certainly worthy of being in the bag of discipline tricks.
Have you use this method to manage your children? Please share your personal experiences relating to this particular disciplinary measure – what was the situation, how well did it work, etc.