can get around this frustrating state of affairs by changing
your approach. Let’s look at two situations –
first the typical (Titanic) way:
David! Time to change your diaper.
No! (As he runs off)
Come on honey. It’s time to leave, I need to change
(Giggles and hides behind sofa)
David, this isn’t funny. It’s getting late. Come
(Doesn’t hear a word. Sits down to do a puzzle.)
Come here! (Gets up and approaches David)
(Giggles and runs)
(Picking up David) Now lie here. Stop squirming! Lie still.
Will you stop this!
(As parent turns to pick up a new diaper, a little bare bottom
is running away)
sure you’ve all been there. Oh, and by the way, David
is my son. And this was an actual scene recorded in his baby
book. Like you, I got very tired of this. And then I discovered
a better way:
(Picking up diaper and holding it like a puppet, making it
talk in a silly, squeaky voice)
Hi David! I’m Dilly Diaper! Come here and play with
(Running over to Diaper) Hi Dilly!
as Diaper: You’re such a nice boy. Will you
give me a kiss?
Yes. (Gives diaper a kiss)
as Diaper: How ‘bout a nice hug?
(Giggles and hugs Diaper)
as Diaper: Lie right here next to me. Right here.
Yup. Can I go on you? Oh yes?!
Goody goody goody! (The diaper chats with David while he’s
being changed. Then it says, Oh, David! Listen, I hear your
shoes calling you – David! David!
most amazing thing about this trick is that it works over
and over and over and over. You’ll keep thinking, “He’s
not honestly going to fall for this again?” But he will!
Probably the nicest by-product of this method is that it gets
you in a good mood and you have a little fun time with your
you’ve got a toddler this technique is a pure lifesaver.
When my son David was little I used this all the time. (I
then used it with my youngest child, Coleton, and it worked
just as well.) Remembering back to one day, when David was
almost three, we were waiting in a long line at the grocery
store and I was making my hand talk to him. It was asking
him questions about the items in the cart. Suddenly, he hugged
my hand, looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I love for
you to pretend this hand is talking.”
parent reported that she called her toddler to the table for
dinner a number of times, when he calmly looked up at her,
chubby hands on padded hips and said, “Mommy, why don’t
you have my dinner call to me?”
suddenly, the peas on his plate came to life and called out
to him; he ran over to join the family at the dinner table.
variation on this technique, that also works very well, is
to capitalize on a young child’s vivid imagination as
a way to thwart negative emotions. Pretend to find a trail
of caterpillars on the way to the store, hop to the car like
a bunny, or pretend a carrot gives you magic powers as you
delightful to see how a potentially negative situation can
be turned into a fun experience by changing a child’s
focus to fun and fantasy.
with permission from Kid
Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleadingand
Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley, copyright
1996. Published by New Harbinger Publications, Inc.