Our First Wrestling Match: Leaving the Park

Adventure land for kids, William loved parks as a toddler.  He still loves parks but we have come a long way since one of our first outings to the park.  It was a perfect day for the park, I along with one of my friends and her little boy walked to a park down the street from our home.  William was so excited to be there! I was excited for him! He played, he ran, he slid down the slides and climbed the stairs.  At some point the park fun was going to need to end.  That time came.  I let William know it was time to go, his stroller was waiting and a simple thing I thought, he will get back in the stroller. All will be good. Surely, he will understand he has had his fun, it is time to go home.  Wrong.  I was met with an outraged little boy.  I wrestled him into his stroller, that was that, we had an audience by this time.  I was sweating and flushed from the wrestling match.  He and I both feeling defeated.  It was a turning point for me. I thought to myself, there had to be a different way.  There was something that I had missed.  A few days later I was visiting with my friend, she had some books on her table.  I can’t remember if it was sitting out, or if she went to get it, but the book was there, The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D. I went home, I visited amazon.com and made one of my first book purchases as a stay at home mom.  Happiest Toddler changed my perspective on working with my child and what he needed from me.  I continue to be grateful for the introduction to this book.  One of the parts that stands out to me and has become part of my daily routine–I used it with William, Isabella and currently with Liam–is Toddler-ese.  Toddler-ese is a way of speaking to Toddlers in a way that makes sense to them.  Short phrases, acknowledging feelings, repeating back to them and showing them that you understand how they feel by mirroring their gestures and tone.  I know, it may sound crazy and when tried this new language, it felt a little uncomfortable, but I have used it and I can verify that it works!  So, if you are having trouble communicating with your kiddo, learn toddler-ese. I recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block to everyone who interacts with toddlers.  It is a great resource. The next time we adventured to the park, we were able to leave in happier spirits.


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