How To Convince a Two Year Old

bathtub-1024x682My children  lived in a house with ten other very different personalities who all shared one  and a half bathrooms. Just imagine the tact it required to squeeze any sink and mirror time  in the bathroom if you  happened to have five or six older sisters!

The kids learned interpersonal techniques through the old trial and error method.  I did not tolerate fighting or yelling among them, so each child had to figure out which approach gained co-operation from another sibling. I was proud of their negotiating skills.

For example,  one evening when Matthew was seven and his brother David was two,  Matthew sat on the floor and reached over the edge of the tub to  play with his little brother who was in bubbly, warm water.

Matthew turned to me and asked, “Want to know how to get a two-year-old to do what you want him to do?

I smiled in anticipation and nodded.

“Watch this”, Matthew commanded.

He asked David, “David, do you want the orange ball or the blue boat?”

David chose the blue boat.

Hardly taking a breath,  Matthew asked his little brother the very same question but this time he changed the word order of his request, “Dave, do you want the blue boat or the orange ball?”

David dropped the boat and reached for the ball.

Matthew turned around with a proud little smile on his face, looked at me and said, “Two-year-olds always choose the last thing you say!”

6 thoughts on “How To Convince a Two Year Old

  1. Fascinating! I never heard of such a thing. Great story. I can’t imagine having one and a half bathrooms! I think I would have brushed my teeth with the garden hose, and washed my hair in the creek! 🙂


  2. Great post! Since we moved we only have 1.5 bathrooms (and they are super small ones) and we are feeling it and there are only five of us. Good for you. I am going to try that toddler trick too LOL


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