Monday, October 12, 2015

Managing an Unruly and Active Toddler

Mother Holding Baby

It is quite an adventure to be a mother of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Some little ones are so adventurous that it doesn't take long for them to learn to unhook the safety belt in their carriages and highchairs.  They often like to climb on the backs of chairs, step on the shelves of bookcases and anything else that looks dangerous.  This can certainly make a mother exhausted trying to keep him out of harm's way.

One clever mother I know could not get her toddler to take his afternoon nap. He would just run around and play, not staying in his bed.  She tried putting him in his carriage.  Here he was securely buckled with the safety belt, snuggled with his baby blanket, and given a little cup of juice and a snack of crackers.  He was delighted.  He rarely ever fell asleep, but he did lay down and enjoy his snack for a reasonable amount of time so both he and his mother were able to get some rest.  This mother did this every day at the same time each day.  The young one got used to the routine and was happy for his snack and rest time.  One day, however, the little genius learned to scoot in the carriage and make it move despite the locked wheels.  He found a way to get into trouble this way!  His mother started to put blankets securely around the wheels and that stopped him from moving it. Every day for her was an adventure in seeing his mischief and finding a way to make him safe.  It was almost comical!

Some adventurous toddlers know how to climb up on their safety gate in their playrooms. Some have been seen to slither under them to freedom, or climb on them and jump causing them to get hurt. But that doesn't stop them. They just smile and start running to get into mischief.  Have you ever had a child like that?  Obviously the baby gate is designed to keep the child safe, in a baby safe room.  This room would have all his toys and fun (safe) things for him to do. But for him to escape could lead to danger - such as a set of stairs, a wood stove, or the kitchen.  One solution might be to set up two baby gates one over the other.   And, of course, set the bottom one as close to the floor as possible so the child cannot sneak under it.

I have seen one child who, as soon as he finished his lunch, he would unhook his highchair tray, throw it on the floor, and climb down to play.  His mother had to watch him closely, notice when he was just about tired of eating, and clean off the tray before he threw it!  She was in awe of his energy and antics!   But she was right on top of things, always figuring out a way to outsmart him. Or be one step ahead of him.

If you have a child like one  of these - adventurous, a sort of Houdini, a sometimes unruly baby, you are in for the excitement of your life.  Give that little one lots of hugs, plenty of love, laughter, and lots of opportunity to run and play and to get out his energy.  Most likely he will sleep beautifully at night and you will get some rest.

Mrs. White

From the Archives - 

A Precious Calling - Nothing in the World to do But Rock Babies.

You can do it! - Housekeeping with a Will.

 Some ideas - Ten Children and Housekeeping.

For gentle mothering advice, order Mrs. White's book:

 - "Old Fashioned Motherhood - baby and child care advice from a New England Housewife."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



Miss Steph said...

I often try to remind myself that these traits will be wonderful as he's in school, and as an adult - intent and creativity to get what he wants and the willingness to keep trying until it happens. It certainly can be tiresome in this stage of life though!

Deanna said...

Blessings to you!
Wonderful post.
Enjoyed reading.
Love those babies,

Laura Lane said...

Grinning, but only because those days are past for me.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Desiree Bradbury said...

I prayed for 25 years, 2 months and 8 days for a baby. God blessed us with a precious new born boy in our old age:) But in His mercy He gave us a little man who was not, nor is now adverturous and a risk taker. But this post did remind me of one precious time when he was very little. He had grown enough and learned how to unlock the front door so we put a chain lock on it for added security. One afternoon I came down the stairs to see him standing on a kitchen chair, that he had pushed quite a ways I might add, and unlocking the chain lock! Oh such wonderful memories!

Jamie Jeffers said...

Toddlers with that disposition are so challenging! They exhaust the mother so much that she needs a nap, but he is not likely to give her that. I think this is where the phrase "the years are so short but the days are so long" was born of! They are awfully adorable, though. :)

Anonymous said...

I've had active and unruly toddlers and I love the active ones....the unruliness must not be grinned and given a wink and a nod. Each child responds to discipline differently and different disciplines help. I am not for spanking for every occurrence but a child must learn that when Momma says something, she means for it to be obeyed. I work around their preferences and their personalities but willful disobedience and no firm instruction will bring forth a child with a lack of respect for authority and a lack of respect for Momma's words and thereby create a teenager who, through just the sheer BEING of a teenager already struggles with authority, will question, interject and argue instructions as well. No sir, you better nip that in the bud. It's a life long process to control our own rebellious natures and cannot be conquered without the Holy Spirit's firm Hand and we need to be that firm hand until our children can develop the character and relationship with the Holy Spirit themselves to get them through this life.


Beatrice Euphemie said...

Oh my goodness, this post brings back so many memories! I had four children fairly close in age and they kept me so busy! My eldest son was a climber and an 'adventurer' at night. I found him on top of the refrigerator one night, so we had to take all the furniture out of his room except his mattress and replaced his bedroom door with a screen door and sturdy latch. He was free to play, but was safe. He now has a son of his own (5 mos.) and my husband and I smile to ourselves.....blessings, Karen

Sarah @ the life of this mother said...

My 2.5 year old to a T!!! A blessing of hard work and joy.

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