Really! Isn’t it the only thing we really want from our toddler. For them to act beyond their age and cooperate with us in exactly the way we think they should?
I am sure I have this thought about 20 times a day. If my 3 yr old would just…If my 19 month old would just… Now I am a big fan of setting moderately high expectations for our kids. I subscribe to the philosophy that our children rise to the standard that we hold them to.
But the standard I have for them has to be toddler standards! I can’t have standards that would apply to a teenager for them. I need the insight, wisdom and perspective to acknowledge what is a manageable standard for my toddler and what is not.
I was reminded of this last week. My 19 month old has decided she wants to be a toddler. She walks, tries to talk and now wants to help with things. After a diaper change she stood up, picked up her diaper and put it in the garbage. I did not teach her to do this, though am sure she has seen me do it 1000 times. She repeated this activity the next time and now I expect her to do it every time.
This is a reasonable expectation. So here are some things to consider when you expect your child to cooperate:
- Do you do the thing you are asking them to do? Have you demonstrated the task, skill or attitude you expect from them?
- Is the task age appropriate?
- Does the task engage them in an activity relevant to their life or the life of the family/people around them?
If the answer is yes to these questions your child is ready to be held to a standard of cooperation for that task! And if the answer is no what do you need to do to get your child to the place that they can cooperate?
#1 Look around and see where your child is already cooperating and make sure to acknowledge that!
#2 Look around and find one area that you would like your child to cooperate in and help them get there!
Let us know in the comments how it is going!