Explaining Your Intention to Toddler

This is one conversation that I had with A some time back and which emphasises the vast amount of difference that exists between what we wish to convey and what children perceive from our words.

Whenever, there is a conflict of thoughts or actions between an adult and child, the parent ought to spend some time to think over from child's perspective, child's level of mind development and thinking ability, instead of screaming repeatedly at the top of one's voice to make the child do what the parent intends her to do.

(Me and A playing with kabuli chana seeds. I ask her to line the seeds in groups of increasing number count. 1 seed, 2 seeds, 3 seeds, etc.)

A: Counting 1 as she places a seed on floor

A: Counting 2 as she places two seeds on floor

Me: (Noticing that she is placing 2 seeds closer to the single seed already present, moved the seeds away from single seed) Put these two little farther from the single seed.

A: No, I want to put them together(moved them back closer to single seed)

Me: No, we are arranging a sequence, 1 seed, 2 seeds, 3 seeds, 4 seeds. Hence, we want them to stay little farther from 1 seed. (moved them away from the single seed)

A: No, no, I will put them together(moved them back closer to single seed)

Me: In that case, while we want to make a sequence of 1 seed, 2 seeds, 3 seeds, 4 seeds, we won't be able to see 1 seed and 2 seeds. (moved them away from the single seed)

A: (Moved them back closer to single seed as she questioned me) Oh, do they become 3 seeds if I move the 2 closer to 1 seed?

Me: (With a huge smile and widely opened eyes) Yes !!! They will now be counted as 3 seeds, neither 1 nor 2 and we want to arrange them in sequence by groups of 1 seed, 2 seeds, 3 seeds, 4 seeds. What you said is right. Thank you A.

A: Smiling and laughing away, arranged all seeds according to our initial plan.

Though it takes a little while to hit the child's brain with your intention and reasoning, everything is worth a try as long as there is peace and learning among individuals. Isn't it?

So, the next time you are explaining something to your child and she doesn't seem to get it right at the first time, try to be as elaborate as possible while using various voice modulations to catch their attention.

You may also read a related post here: conveying your message to a toddler