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The Tiny Socialite: How to handle an Overly Friendly toddler

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After my twins were born I learned something about people. Most of them have no concept of boundaries when it comes to other's babies. They get so overwhelmed with tiny humans and their cuteness that they totally forget to respect your space. So as a Mama I've had to be on guard constantly when I'm out with the kids. You know, the typical lioness unapologetically protecting my cubs. This also led me to create Covered Cubs, where the goal is "Helping Parents Protect Their Pride" Check out the link below for one of our signature products.

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Now that my girls are three I have a new obstacle to tackle! They are talkative and love to tell people what they've learned. You know, "Hi my name is ____, I'm __ years old!" I'm generally ok with this as long as it doesn't go beyond that. And honestly I'm still deciding on how extensive I want their "information giving" to be. 

Well a few days ago I was thrown for a loop. My kiddies walked up to a seemingly nice sales associate lady, and hugged her. I think I was more taken aback by them doing that than I was when they were babies and I was guarding them from others. So what did I do? You better believe I stopped EVERYTHING! I called my kids to me, then looked at the lady and said "Ma'am this is no reflection on you."  I then had an almost 3 minute conversation with them about strangers and not touching/hugging people they don't know. 

It's not uncommon for your toddler to be a Tiny Socialite, especially at this age when they are more talkative and expressive. But I'm sure it makes you cringe if you see them kiss a stranger, or grab their hand or even hug them. There is TOO MUCH about this that is potentially unsafe and we want our kids to learn good behaviors and habits. 

Here's a few recommendations for dealing with your little social butterfly...

  • KEEP YOUR CHILD CLOSE: Don't let them wonder off. This includes allowing them to get too far ahead of you & also lingering too far behind. You will be able to keep an eye on them and also have them in your reach. 
  • DON'T UNDERESTIMATE WHAT THEY UNDERSTAND: Yes they are our babies, but their brains are like sponges just waiting for more information to soak up! Talk to them about boundaries and how they should act when they are out. Remember to use language they can relate to. 
  • TEACH IN THE MOMENT: If your child crosses a boundary, address it when it right then. Their attention spans are limited, but if we take the time to tell them what was wrong about what they did WHEN it happens, they can grasp it better rather than waiting til later.
  • KEEP YOUR COOL: Try not to overreact. Just talk. Get on their level, look in their face and get their attention! Calmly explain what they shouldn't have done and why. I guarantee you they will hear and understand better when you talk rather than yelling. We don't want to stifle or crush their confidence, but we do want to guide them.
  • SAY IT & SAY IT AGAIN: They may not get it the first time. Hey, even as adults sometimes we forget, so give your child the chance to embrace the importance of what you're telling them and allow them to soak it in. Keep saying it!

There are so many levels to this parenting stuff and it ain't easy, but we're in it! I hope these tips are helpful when dealing with your tiny socialite. Some of you mamas are dealing with this now & some of you have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt! If you have anything to add, your feed back is welcomed. Please leave a comment below. 

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