A toddler’s guide to handling their parents 6 years ago

A toddler’s guide to handling their parents

Life as a toddler can be hard. Sometimes parents just don’t get that 20 minutes on the swing is simply not enough.

Recent research has shown that a full toddler meltdown does not always net the results we hope for. Plus let’s face it, toddlers, all the flailing is exhausting. So, toddlers of the world, when life doesn’t go your way here is a list of alternative tactics you can try to bring your disobedient parents in line.


Your youthful looks won’t last forever, while you have them, use them well. For maximum impact include a head tilt and wide, unblinking eyes. The trick of the cuteness tactic is that your face needs to portray two things simultaneously. You need to emit both disbelief and innocence. The idea you want to portray is that even you can find it hard to believe the sheer innocence of your request. This is a difficult look to perfect, and you may wish to practise when you are meant to be sleeping.

Please note this tactic has a 100 per cent success rate with grandparents.

Repetition, repetition, repetition

It is possible your 5,000 requests for a biscuit have not been heard. Repeat at will. Continue for as long as necessary.

Volume as a diversion

In public spaces, such as supermarkets, a parent can be distracted with the shiny things around them. It may be necessary for you to shout at them while attempting to launch yourself out of the trolley. The use of volume draws their attention back to you.


The Power of “No”.

The “No” word should often be used and with determination. If you do not wish to wear pants, you must show your resolve. If you back down once they will insist you wear pants everyday. Resolve is key!

Know your audience

If tactic is not working with one parent try another parent or a grandparent or anyone who will listen. Sometimes you have correctly chosen the right tactic but simply addressed it to the wrong person. Again persistence is vital.

Give your parent some space

Your parent may need some space to think about how reasonable your request is. To give them space you need to run away from them. I guarantee you will surprise yourself with the speed your short stature can muster. After numerous breaks for the exit a parent’s resolve and breath, become tested. Running away confuses parents, and they can forget what your initial request was. It is at this point when their defences are weak, and frustration is mounting that you may wish to implement the next tactic.


Simple phrases like “Peeeeasssse Mammy” may effectively soothe a parent’s resolve and result in a positive outcome for you. Politeness has the added advantage of having the element of surprise. Parents have come not to expect it from toddlers. As we know, parents are big advocates of politeness, so when you use politeness to achieve your goal they too can feel like they have had a little victory because at least you have pestered nicely. This boost to your parents self-esteem is important and helps them feel that in some small way they still have control. This illusion is one that you wish to foster.

Whichever tactic you choose the important points to remember are…. be consistent and show your resolve.

Don’t forget to finish with a hug so they know we’re all on the same side really!

Ann Marie is a writer, blogger and mum living in Cork City. She enjoys all things vintage, making a craft mess and finishing a cup of tea without anyone throwing a tantrum. You can read more from Ann Marie on her blog thriftyamos.com or follow her funny musings as a Mum on Twitter, @thriftyamos.