Toddler Tips on Playing Favorites
We’re nearing the end of our segment on learning how to handle difficult toddler situations. This week we’re looking at toddlers playing favorites according to Stephanie Wood’s article, “Testing Your Limits” published in Parenting.com and further discussed by Daddy Nickell – father to six and founder of DaddyScrubs, the perfect gift for dad.
Wood highlights real mommy, Alice Donahue in stating, “Liam, our two-year-old, is so attached to my husband. If I go into his room to get him after my husband’s gone to work, he becomes hysterical. And on the weekends when my husband’s home, he has to take Liam everywhere he goes or Liam has a fit.”
Realizing that your toddler’s playing favorites can be a hard pill to swallow. Wood has the following to say in explaining what’s actually going on and the best ways to handle such a situation:
“What’s really happening Many toddlers favor one parent over the other — the one who’s around more or the one who’s missed. Whatever the cause, it’s almost always just a stage.
How to handle it If the desired parent is often out of the house, have him step in whenever possible. If the child misses him that much, they should be sharing more time together. It’s also a good idea to create special jobs for each parent — Daddy always does the bath, for example, or Mommy always reads the bedtime stories — then try to stick to them, since toddlers tend to appreciate routine, says Kurcinka. That way your child has time with each parent and knows she’ll have some moments with her favorite one to look forward to.
If both of you are readily available and your toddler still favors you, then your mate should take a look at how you interact with her. Maybe it’s a simple case of Daddy making a game out of diaper changes or Mommy being more gentle when she helps her child get dressed.”
Daddy Nickell says:
I agree with the routine Wood suggests. In our home our routine is as follows: For our 27-month-old, I do the bath time, and Mommy reads at night before going to bed. I usually take the 9-month-old and put him to bed. Prior to bedtime, or bath time, I like to play wrestle on the floor; both boys enjoy this activity, have fun, and love having an outlet to get their energy out before going to bed. As far as favorites, if the 27-month-old is screaming for Mommy, I just smile at her and say “he wants you”. Remember this is only another phase, and they change about every 90 days. Try your best to be as supportive and available as possible. In our household, Mommy Nickell and I work together as a team as often as possible, and we build a schedule, or a routine, that includes activities each of us participates in daily. We discuss what tasks should be made into a game and which should be done in a calmer manner, and we try our best to give our children balanced attention. Any way you spin it, parenting is difficult – and this is simply one of the enjoyable bumps along the wonderful journey that is raising a child. Be patient.
Stay tuned next week to learn about the final popular and difficult toddler scenario that Wood discusses.
Daddy Nickell’s Daughter