Does your toddler suddenly ask you for a puppy or a kitten? Do they want to go swimming when it’s 2 degrees outside? Do they want dessert before dinner? Do you suddenly have a temper tantrum or very upset child when their whimsy is not met? If you do – then your toddler is normal and their whimsy is more normal than you may realize.
Children Are Creatures of Impulse
Adults are creatures of reason, most of the time. We have it ingrained in us since childhood to grow up and be realistic. We’re expected to be practical about what we do and when we do it. We’re routine oriented and we’re taught to analyze things as they happen in order to weigh just whether or not we can do it. After all, skipping work for the day to go and play in the park may sound great, but we’re weighing a paycheck against a few minutes of fun and more often than not the paycheck is going to win because our kids need a roof over their heads and they need to be fed. We also know there’s very little sense in being irritated over things we can’t change. We may not like it when it’s coming down buckets of rain, but we know there is little we can do about it and we can roll with it.
Our kids can’t.
Indulge Them Sometimes
This is the part of parenting that is hard. We have to teach our children to accept the things they cannot change. To understand why practical does have a place right along side whimsy. That doesn’t mean we can’t indulge their whims. In fact, you should make it a practice to indulge the whims that you can. After all, one evening of dessert an hour before dinner won’t hurt them.
Understand that there are times when they can wear their snow boots on a sunny day or carry an umbrella even when it’s not raining. There will be other times when you can’t indulge them, after all, we’re not going to go swimming when there is four feet of snow on the ground. And you can’t always just drop everything to take a day off and drive fifty miles to go to the zoo.
Temper Their Requests
Be reasonable, even when your toddler isn’t. Remember, they are not trying to drive you nuts, they are trying to express their desires and to share their feelings. So you can’t go swimming, what about a bath? You can’t get a dog, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go down to the pet store and see them or better yet, what about helping do a project that can help animals in need out? What about doing a little fundraising to help? That may seem a little out there, but kids do know what it means to help and you can teach your little one that maybe you can’t provide a home for a pet, but they can help take care of the pet until it does find a home.
What kind of whims does your toddler have?