How to Politely Make Your Toddler Leave You Alone

Our kids are cute! We love our kids! Sometimes we may like other people’s babies. Even so, they can be tedious little creatures that need to literally hang on to you and ask detailed questions that you may not know the answers to. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you just need them to leave you alone for a second.

On the other hand, you can’t say, “Look buddy, I love you, but if you don’t stop talking for 30 seconds, my ears will start bleeding.” It is unpleasant! And we are trying to teach them to be good. Instead, we must find clever and polite ways to get them to get into STFU for a short time. I asked our Facebook group Offspring what tactics they use when they need a minute for themselves, and they came up with some suggestions.

Ask them for something to “help”

This was a popular proposition among the group because no toddler can resist the urge to be a “good helper.” They are genetically predisposed to a rush of dopamine when something is brought in, delivered, or stacked.

“When we need a break, my husband and I play ‘Take this to Daddy’ and ‘Take this to Mom,’ says band member Noel. “Kiddo loves to be on an ‘important mission’ and this is our signal that we need a minute.”

(Noelle and her husband get extra points for using this as a way to communicate their need for space to each other.)

Crystal says the key is to make the job harder in some way – and to increase the difficulty level with age: “Give them a job. Find X (bonus if something is hard to find), tell Aunt Karen Y. If they are old enough, you can make the job harder by getting more time. Find X, give Y, and then tell Z if they liked it. “

Imagine that you are busy

So, you are already taken. But your toddler doesn’t necessarily think you have everything to do, which means he still can’t talk to you all day. So try telling them with a lot of enthusiasm that you can’t wait to hear more about this, answer additional questions, or read this book again – as soon as you finish doing XYZ. Tell them to go get a book or start customizing the game – you’ll be in as soon as you’ve finished wiping down your kitchen countertops! Then just get up and stare at your filthy counters for a few minutes.

And when organically it happens that they think you are more busy than you really are, pause and enjoy the peace, as Jessica does: “Sometimes I will wash the dishes / load the dishwasher while my 4 year old finishes lunch, and then he’ll jump back and do whatever while I’m still at the sink. Sometimes he asks me to go with him, and when not, well, here I am. “

Find them another playmate

Maybe they are all around you because you are the only home. If so, a solution that seems like a bad idea but really isn’t, is to invite another toddler. Group member Anais explains: “Sounds counterproductive, but after three years, invite a friend. Two toddlers are much less demanding than single ones. “

Will you still have to hand out snacks, enforce rules, and make sure they don’t do anything that could result in injury or death? Of course you will. But they also leave you alone most of the time because you are less interesting right now.

Let them play with something dirty

I suggested this in a post on non-food “treats” for kids, and I suggest it again for times when you’re on the verge of a “why-why-why” madness: pull out something messy for them. make. You’re fun, but not nearly as fun as slime, clay, or a trash can filled with some sort of sensory activity that you’ll vacuum later.

You don’t want to deal with a mess, but it’s worth it at the moment.

If all else fails …

Screen time.

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