As a follow-up to the room transformation, I decided to throw a cosy roomwarming party for X. I wanted to create an anchor in his mind of the new milestone in his life. These were part of my parenting strategy to show X that we understood and acknowledged that he was in a new phase of his life. We should not be referring to him as a baby. We were aware that he had opinions, a little mind of his own and we were ready to embrace all of that.
X was thrilled that we made such a big fuss out of the whole thing. He was already very pleased with his ‘new’ room. Throw a party where he was the guest of honour? He was majorly pleased. We ate, chatted and fooled around.
I got to ‘serious business’ and told X that being a toddler meant he knew the world better. However, he was no longer a baby and should not resort to crying to demand his way all the time. X seemed to understand this bit and was even shaking his head when asked if he had been a good boy.
I also asked Z to share some tips with X on how to be a good toddler. Z explained to X that he was to eat faster (this was more of a problem for Z), listen to daddy and mummy as well as to take care of his toys.
The revamp of the room and the party had made a significant impact on little X.
It was a recognition of the ‘upgrade’ in status. X also seemed more reasonable in accepting some of our explanations when we were not able to give in to his odd demands such as eating wet wipes. Toddlers had a different agenda of their own, a different perception of the world and too strong willed to accept deviations.
By our show of acknowledgement, I wanted X to feel that we heard his little voice.
And it worked.