Insert Grace Here…

…finding grace to help in the time of need…

WFMW: How to Tame a Toddler


Do you have a wild toddler?  Do you find yourself exasperated Wfmwbannerat the end of each day?  Do you feel defeated by a little person with loud lungs, lots of energy and a never ending list of demands?

You’re not alone!  But take heart- you CAN tame your toddler!

I’d like to share a few of my tips:

  1. Introduce your toddler to Elmo.  He is seemingly harmless and has proved to occupy way too much large amounts of my toddler’s time.  That’s right!  She will sit mindlessly staring at the square box with the big eyed reddish orange furry creature while I’m getting dressed, doing a few chores or cooking supper.  But be prepared for loud bursts such as, “AMO, AMO, watch AMO!  AMO coming?  WANT AMO!”  Stay focused and remember the task at hand.
  2. Carry gum.  That’s right!  Throw the rule book out the window!  When you’re shopping and your toddler is on the verge of a tantrum and screaming, “GUN(gum)!  Want GUN!  GIMME’ GUN!”  Just break an ever so tiny piece of gum, smile and place it in your toddler’s mouth.  Even if she swallows it, it’s very tiny.  Of course, you’ll likely need to replace the swallowed piece with another ever so tiny piece.  Again, stay focused.
  3. If your toddler tends to run off while you are attempting to dress him, set him on the potty.  That’s right!  The potty- with a lid attachment.  If you’re not yet training, introduce this as quickly as possible.  No pressure on the tot!  Focus on the fun and excitement of this new seat!  Even if you do not see progress in the potty training area, nor really want to push progress in this area, you will find this to be a useful and even somewhat entertaining tool for your toddler.  Keep a few books next to the potty.  Again- this must be the big potty.  You’ll need to have your toddler extended above the ground, unable to remove himself or run off.  Now, proceed with dressing, brushing teeth, combing hair (this is especially helpful on those toddler bad hair days where you need to redo her ponytail several times) and putting on shoes.  Of course, encouraging the pottying doesn’t hurt.  Keep those books coming.  And give lots of praise- to the toddler and to yourself for successfully dressing her in record time!
  4. When your toddler is restless in the car, try Cheerios.  Oh, I realize that you have probably made a vow to never, NEVER feed her in the car.  This isn’t defeat ladies; it’s compromise.  The child stops screaming, the child gets food.  Or the other way around.  And forget about holding off as long as possible to introduce The Golden Arches.  It may not be the most nutritional choice, but it IS “fast food”.  Safety is key here.  Driving from point A to point B safely is your goal.  A quiet toddler means happy driving.  “Fry fries” mean a quiet toddler.  I prefer the option of food over listening to kids’ tunes.  So cut yourself some slack.  After all, you’ve probably been listening to AMO Elmo at home more than you can stand it.  So buckle up and drive through.  You’ll be proud that your toddler says “Donalds” so early.
  5. If you’re having trouble getting your toddler to bed, there are several things you can do to help him unwind.  Let him play in the tub a bit longer.  This is a great time to take care of eyebrow tweezing or face masking.    Multi-task ladies!  You’ll know he’s ready to get out of the tub when his fingers look like prunes.  Then, let your little tot climb in bed with you to read a few books.  Still not quite ready to be tucked in?  Invest in a Praises and Smiles DVD .  Rock a bit and sing.  And if all else fails….BENADRYL!  Store brand even.  It’s one of only a few still recommended by many pediatricians.  Appropriate dosage, of course!  If you live in Louisiana, it will be very helpful in keeping those seasonal allergens from attacking.  Don’t be hesitant.  Rest is essential for both you AND your toddler.

So give a tip or two a try!  And hopefully you’ll find some sanity. 

Please note that life before these tips was life before my daughter, Sophie.  That life consisted of very firm parenting, consistency (well, as much as was possible) and firm discipline in my line of work as an in-home “Nanny”.  These rules were then frowned upon- nay, despised.  It is with great humility that I tell you that the rules changed.  Just like an old Rugrats episode where the “parents kept changing the rules”.  The kids would get in trouble for peeing outside.  The dog was encouraged to pee outside.  Rule change?  Hmmm?  In my case, life changed with Sophie.  Therefore, I learned to compromise.  Make no mistake- I am hypoglycemic and as a rule, try to eat little sugar.  After seeing firsthand what sugar consumption can do to the human body, I made lifestyle changes for my entire family.  After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, they have learned to pretty much live with it.  But I’ve also learned to compromise.  Not only in the area of food, but in the area of “the toddler” in general.

Happy Parenting!

*The fine print- author is not liable for increased agitation of toddler, falling off the potty, reverse effects of Bendadryl, public humility, loss of sanity, or failed success pertaining to these rules.

**No toddlers were harmed during the testing of these rules.



  Ginger wrote @

Good tips. Love the fine print. You are sooo crazy!

  Wani wrote @

Thanks for the pointers.

  Laura wrote @

Help! I want to be a part of Works for Me Wednesday – but after all these years, I don’t know that I’m consistent enough to have anything work for me!! I have examined my life and have determined that I am in a serious “trial and error” situation. Oh well…maybe I’ll think of something.

Love your toddler tips! Poor Sophie had to make all new rules for mommy & daddy! That’s a big job for a little girl! 😎

I’m a Believer!

  Donna @ Thirsty wrote @

Thats it. I love you 😉 I am subscribing. and buying benadryl tomorrow 🙂

  Mrs. Q wrote @

ROTFL!!!! I loved this post! I am so going to use the toilet seat idea for when my daughter gets old enough to get into everything!

And what mom, who’s willing to admit it, hasn’t thought of Benadryl once or twice…lol!

Hilarious! I am coming back here again and again 🙂

  Mrs. Q wrote @

By the way, I thought this was such an awesome article, I linked to it in one of my posts 🙂

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