I’ve been told that I “understand” toddlers (and nothing could be a greater compliment). This might be because my own emotional development was partially arrested as a toddler for reasons I haven’t yet unraveled, but it’s probably also because after all the time I’ve spent observing toddlers, I’ve begun to identify with them.
Sometimes, for example, when a parent in one of my classes asks her toddler not to throw toys, I’ll be unconvinced by her delivery and feel like joining the toddler in throwing more toys. Other times, a child will say he wants to leave the class as soon as he’s arrived. He’ll persist with the issue until his parent says decisively, “I hear you wanting to leave, but we won’t be going until class ends.” I’ll be feeling the toddler’s edginess while the parent is thinking, “Uh, oh, now what?” or is afraid to take a stand.
If toddlers could share their thoughts on discipline, here’s what I think they’d say…
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