Toddler Survival Tip #10
10. Toddler Visits
So you still have friends without kids, or grandparents that they hardly see. A visit in a new home with toddlers can be like taking an elephant into a tea cup store. Be prepared and keep the visit short and successful.
Especially during holidays we tend to visit people, who may not have a child proof home. Glass coffee tables and ornate lamps or expensive Nick knacks are always a worry for the mother of the 'toddling toddlers.' So what can you do to prepare?
1. Let your host know what they can expect. If you think that the children may not be welcomed or safe in the home, you may want to get a sitter. Talk to your host before hand. You can kindly note that your toddler is learning how to pull himself up on things and grab at shiny new things and they may want to put away any valuables and make sure they don't have any table clothes that can pull down the dinnerware. Even the best behaved children get excited, curious and loose their manners sometimes, especially at new places. Remind your host of the ages of your children and see if she has ideas on where and what they can play with.
2. Bring stuff. It's best if you bring toys or materials they have never seen before or rarely get to play with. Play Dough is a great one, quiet and busy. Depending on the ages of children of course. Magna Doodles are great, crayons, colouring books, paper, foam balls, deck of cards, puzzles. They may have never played with them at your home, but if these materials show up at your hosts house, they suddenly are very cool. Outside play can bring chalk for driveway art
3. Bring snacks. Don't expect your children to love the casserole dish served at Aunties house. Bring the food you know they will eat and feel comfortable with. or just bring small snacks, many 2 year old do not eat dinner and small snacks are the way to go. Avocados, bananas, apples, nuts, popcorn, granola, hard boiled egg, veggie sticks, Cheerios, berries, carrot sticks, broccoli, and dips, don't forget fun dips.
4. Talk to your kids. Let them know what to expect and what you expect from them. Talk about using manners, please and thank you. Even to a 13 month old baby deserves to know what to expect. They may not understand everything, but telling them each time will get you and them into the habit and knowing something different is expected. Talk to them like you want to be talked to with respect and love. Be firm and kind. Example: "Remember when we are at grandma's you need to ask her before you grab and play with things." Use your "thank you's and your please. She likes that a lot." "I know you can behave and be helpful." "If you don't know what to do, just ask me."
5. Validate their feelings, respect their no's. If they don't want to hug Auntie Kim goodbye, just say, "Ok, can you wave goodbye and say thank you then." We want our babies to grow up to be teenagers that know how to say no when they don't feel comfortable, so teach them young.