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How to Trick Toddlers into Doing What You Want

Posted by Ali | Tuesday October 28, 20146 comments

At 1 and 3, my tots are at an age where they are really starting to test their independence.  Toddlers aren’t known for their reasoning skills, which means I have to be creative when it comes to getting them to do things like brush their teeth, use the toilet or eat my (apparently disgusting?) home cooking.

Here is how I get them to do all of the above without realizing they are doing what Mommy wants instead of what they want:

1.  Brushing teeth
If it were up to my kids, they would happily suck on a tube of strawberry flavoured toothpaste and call it a night.  Toothbrushes at this age are thrown on the floor with a loud “Noooo dis!” or used to scrub the bathroom sink (prior to throwing on the floor).  I have discovered that if the toothbrush is designed and shaped like a toy, they will use it with glee.  The Thomas toothbrush from Arm & Hammer™ Spinbrush™ and the Spiderman one have been tremendous, tooth-saving hits!  

2.  Use the toilet
I potty train early.  Like crazy early.  At 5 months, I had both kids starting to use the toilet and training wrapped before a year and half.  My trick is a combo of lead by example; (yep) and silly self-composed toilet songs.  Though let me tell you it gets hard to sing those when there is poo involved.  Given the proximity of mother and child whilst holding them on the toilet.

3.  Eat my home cooking
I’ll cut to the chase here: it all comes down to bribery and threats.  The promise of dessert if one finishes one’s food, the threat of not getting any if one does not.  My last resort tactic is to put the iPad on and shovel food into their mouths while they are transfixed by Caillou.

Other mothers, which tricks do you have up your sleeve?

This post was sponsored by Arm & Hammer™ Spinbrush™ Truly Radiant™ Toothbrush. Check out our members' reviews here!
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on May 20, 2015  reghina  335 said:

really funny....I have a 2 and a 4 home....let me tell you, I undurstand you perfectly.... I was ashame to let enybady know how I feed them with the Ipad....but I am reliefed sombody else is doing it and recognize it :)

on December 09, 2014  prettyrainbow  20,664 said:

Positive reinforcement works well with kids of all ages. Get them to track their behaviour by making a chart where they earn a sticker each time they complete the task. At the end of the month, if all the days are complete, they can earn a reward like movie night, a new book or anything else that might interest them.

on November 20, 2014  glumbumble  10,038 said:

I don't have any tricks as of yet, but I know I wasn't potty trained until about 5 just because I was very very stubborn, it was no fault of my mom's. I also never had issues with toothpaste and never had a special kid's toothbrush. And my mom always made one meal only and if I didn't eat it, then I could either fix myself a sandwich or go to bed hungry.

on November 04, 2014  Red_rosie13  3,144 said:

Haha! I loved reading this! It is too funny but so helpful at the same time. My daughter hasn't hit the stage where she hates the toothbrush but I'll keep your tips in mind. As for potty training, I will be there soon, wish me luck, I didn't start very early.

on November 01, 2014  jmca  9,174 said:

Sing songs

on October 28, 2014  flower  4,433 said:

Have a potty chair & books

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