Don’t Ask A Toddler

Do you want…


Should we go….


Will you….



This is a typical conversation between Gus, my two-year-old, and myself go.  And I know better.  Because it’s my job to know.  My husband does not have this excuse.  I hope he doesn’t read this blog post…because as much as I hate it when Gus does this to me, I love watching when he does it to John.  I am a horrible human being.

I often tell people not to ask their toddler questions.  Because they are still learning new words and concepts.  And when we ask questions we leave them frustrated and confused, since they are likely not aware of the answer.  But another reason I don’t ask toddlers questions is because we lead them to think they have a choice.  And typically they do not.

This is especially the case at dinner.  Think about it.  How many times have you asked your child to try something?  “Will you try the beans?”  “Can you take three bites?”  “Do you like the meat?”  “No.”  In their defense…you did ask.

Instead of asking, tell.  “You can try the beans.”  “You will like the meat.”  I won’t touch on the number of bites thing…I hate it – because it makes kids automatically think that food is a punishment – but it is just this increadibly natural phrase that just comes spewing out of my mouth when my kids ask if they can leave the table.  It’s wierd.

Carry this “tell – don’t ask” into your child’s daily life.  Instead of “Will you put on your coat?”  Try “Put on your coat.”  Instead of “Are you ready to go?”  Go with “You are ready.”

No more questions.  Let’s take charge of our toddlers.  Ha.  That’s hilarious.  No one has ever conquered a toddler, but we can try.



2 thoughts on “Don’t Ask A Toddler

  1. Great tip! Constantly have to remind myself that I cannot talk to my little humans the same way I speak to adults. They just aren’t “there” yet developmentally! You rock!


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