Managing Toddlers With Older Kids

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So yesterday I mentioned that we attended my son’s Kindergarten graduation in the middle of the day, this was supposed to be a joyful event and it partially was, we were so proud of him.  However, in bringing our two year old he was very obnoxious, screaming, yelling and annoying other parents.  He was just bored and even though he saw his brother on stage, he just didn’t want attention to be off of him and on his brother.  I have to admin I was very frustrated, we tried bribing with food, letting him play with my camera accessories, but finally I just had to take him away from the ceremony.

I do however see it from his point of view, toddlers get bored easily, and at that age they are very focused on their own exploration and entertainment and don’t really know how to empathize or consider other people being the spotlight.  The solution should have been to leave him with a sitter, or for one parent to attend the graduation and the other babysit the child if no sitter could be found.  At certain times toddlers really should not be brought to events if you know they are likely to act up and create a disturbance.

As a child growing up and an older brother I noted similar things when my younger brother was brought to my school functions and play’s, and I am sure many people and parents can related to these things.  While it is unacceptable for an older kid to behave poorly in public, a two year old has a really hard time being rationalized with so therefore it is better to not force them to endure such situations where parents are “hoping” they will behave the entire time and not act up.

I hope my youngest outgrows the terrible two’s pretty soon, he is really a strong, stubborn and manly child.  He is definately an alpha personality and will be one of those who is likely to bowl over anyone who gets in his way, this requires a very different parenting approach than my oldest who is much more laid back and much less aggressive personality wise.

So parents, when you need to attend an older kids function and you have a baby or a toddler around who just is a “wildcard” if they may make the event enjoyable or difficult, it is better to divide and conquer and send one parent to attend (alternating) if you can’t find a sitter than bring your very young one and potentially get yourself frustrated.

-Justin Germino

Updated: May 21, 2009 — 10:28 am