Addressing toddlers tip #1: The uh oh Song
This tool is used to address toddlers as they make poor choices. Often times you don’t have enough time to teach your young kids everything that they can and cannot do before they start doing it all. This is a great way to begin showing them what you allow in your home and what you don’t.
UH oh song steps:
When they make a poor choice you respond with “Uh-oh looks like someone needs some time in their room.”
This is said with a calm and empathetic voice. This is not said with anger, sarcasm, or disrespect as a parent. You can learn to sing it if that helps you respond nicely and calmly.
Then ask them a few key choices that empowers them. Toddlers thrive off of choices.
“Do you want to walk to your room, or do you want me to carry you?”
Most every toddler will choose to walk on their own.
Then when they get to their room ask them:
“Do you want the door open or closed?”
If they don’t choose one of these two options when you are giving choices then you choose for them which will most likely look like carrying them and closing the door. Remember this is not angry. You are genuinely sad that they made a poor choice and you are happy to hep them learn for next time.
If they decide to leave the room before the set timer is up then you simply respond with:
“Uh oh looks like you chose door closed after all.” You can nicely close the door after placing them in their room for the remainder of the timer.
When the timer is done you can let them know:
“Feel free to come out when you are ready to be nice.”
This is not a time for you to now lecture your toddler. They will learn to tune you out at an early age if you do so. During this time explain to your toddler what they could do next time that would not result in time in their room.
Example: If they had thrown their food on the ground and you walked through the uh oh song steps then when they come out you could let them know that next time when their done eating they can say to you “Mama/Daddy I am all done eating, can I get down?.”
This sets them up for success next time. Your toddlers don’t know what to do until you teach them. Sometimes we jump to punishing them for things they just don’t understand how to do yet. Process before you act. Consequences are needed at times and explanations would be more helpful at other times.
The uh oh song removes the pressure from you trying to have to come up with new ways to teach your toddler when they make mistakes. It also allows you to stay calm. Parents that are able to stay calm raise children who are able to stay calm even when they are upset.
This tool also empowers your toddlers, helping them to learn what the repercussions of their choices good or bad will be. They grow up in a home where they are equipped to know right from wrong at an early age.
This is much different than sending your children to their room out of anger and frustration. Separation can cause fear and we know that there is no love in fear.
Having our kids take some quiet time in their room teaches them that deep breathes, thinking through their actions, and processing calmly are good ways in the future to handle all kinds of emotions and situations.
Be consistent with this. If you are consistent then your toddler only needs to hear uh oh and they will know exactly what comes next. Consistency will bring the breakthrough in their identity.
Remember that the goal is not to punish them for their mistakes. It is to call forth their identity and help them walk in who they were created to be. When this is your approach you will always be able to speak and act with grace and love.
Want to listen to this on podcast? Here’s the link:
Want a free e-course on this topic: