Sunday, 9 January 2011

Seemingly unsupported fears in toddlers

The past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle with regards bath time. The toddler says each time it is “warm” which mean too hot! It is impossible that we make it too hot, because we have a small temperature meter that we use.

She used to love her bath time, and we are always very careful not to use the word “bath” if we are not ready to go and bath her. Because she starts climbing the stairs as soon as we announce it’s time for her bath...

Not now! All of a sudden she is afraid it is going to be too hot, and she doesn’t want to get into the bath. When I put her in, she doesn’t want to sit down. And washing of hair has become a big screaming session!

I tried to take it very slow tonight. I made sure the temperature of the water was even beneath the correct temperature reading. It was a cold bath! And I put in some bubbles.

I let her stand, and focused on the bubbles and toy boats being covered by the bubbles. She was still upset with me when I washed her hair, but enjoyed the bubbles. In the end she was sitting in the bath, not wanting to get out...

It reminded me again of how easy it is - on me and on her - when I try to address her fears in a natural way, and not forcing her to sit down in a bath when she doesn’t want to... I could have screamed at her, or I could have given her a hiding for not wanting to bath. But not I nor she had to get upset at each other. I much rather prefer this way of parenting!

Fears that toddlers/children have, may seem unreasonable to us, but it must have some foundation. Rather address the fears in a natural and non-confrontational manner, than not acknowledging them at all...


  1. I agree with this approach and when I see there is a real fear I also try not push until they are ready and with time and encouragement they do get ready!

  2. A good reminder for us all. I tend to be too strict.

  3. I agree with that as well and sometimes they just need you to acknowledge that they have their own opinions and preferences. But again you have to walk the fine line between respecting them and being your childrens doormat. So, I try keep a balance. Fortunately my kids are not battling me on each and every little thing, but some days are better than others! (Smile)

  4. I love the way you handled this. Smart mommy. :)I remember the first time I put bath toys in my daughter's bath. She was afraid of them at first. She's usually fearless but those things floating in the water were definitely scary to her. I figured out that if I put the toys in before the water and then let her see the water added and then saw them float, she wasn't scared anymore. Sometimes stepping into their little minds and seeing it from their perpective instead of just getting exasperated is the best way. Definitely a good thing for me to remember!

  5. The struggle continues every night! All of a sudden it is a big problem at bath time, and the toddler does not want to sit down...
    I will continue with my approach of not forcing her, but trying to figure out what made her afraid!


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