Parents are some of the most fortunate people. They get a daily variety show from their toddler. And it is a good one.
Sometimes they get a comedy. Sometimes they get a drama. Then there’s the real tear-jerker written and produced to tug at your heart. The daily show of ‘What is My Toddler Going to Do Today’ is a must-see.
Toddlers’ habits run a very broad spectrum. They can be silly and adorable, or they can scream bloody murder if something doesn’t go their way. Then there’s the episode of, ‘I want what I want when I want it.’ Three I’s, and three wants. The kid is particular about everything.
It’s cute at first. The child seems to be showing signs of being independent. Then they go to extremes about everything. “No, I only want the blue shirt, not the yellow one!” Or, “where is my dinosaur. not the big one, the little one, NOW!”
You little girl wants to wear a tutu everywhere she goes. And so on. These habits of being particular are frustrating for you and your toddler. And the ‘particular subject of being particular’ is the issue we will now explore…NOW!!
Being Particular Is Part of Learning
From the time a child starts being aware of their surrounding’s, they begin to form habits. The way the household is run is what they see every day. And they see mom being ‘particular’ about how she does stuff.
If they hear you say, “no, not the big knife use the little one.” or whatever, it sticks in their mind. Toddlers are very good at imitating. The way you are is going to be a close copy of what they will turn into. Their little brain is like a xerox machine. And everything gets filed for later use.
So just remember, being particular is part of learning. It can be annoying, but it is a direct reflection of what they are around. And if they go to daycare, they are around other tiny little copy-cats.
Use It To Your Advantage
Often the habit of being particular can be used as leverage for getting the child to do other activities.
Let’s say the child loves one particular teddy bear. He or she is convinced the fuzzy brown bear with the black button eyes rules all. And you have tried to get them to be interested in something else. Use the bear.
Let the bear do the work. Tell them the bear always goes to bed on time so they should too. Or whatever the child won’t do. Use a particular toy as a tool. Being particular about the bear could be the key to learning anything the child is resistant to.
If the child is into one particular superhero, then you will have an entire arsenal of opportunities for success. Being particular can be useful.
Variety and Choices
Make sure a variety of different choices surrounds the child. Try to break the being a particular habit before it can start. The parents need to be seen using different items for the same purpose as well. Being aware of variety could snap them out of being particular.
If your son is adamant about the blue car and only the blue car, teach him a new game. Teach him how to line up all of the cars and trucks or other vehicle type toys. Then tell him his superhero likes every car and truck, so he should too!
When your little girl will only wear one outfit and nothing else show her the variety. Show her all of her clothes…at once! Lay them all out on the bed, on the floor, and allow her to choose. She may not be aware of all the clothes she has. Then show her all of your clothes. Tell her if she will help you choose your clothes you will help her with her clothes.
Particular About Food
Surely you have seen a toddler being particular about food. It’s bad enough they will only eat one or two items and nothing else. Then there’s the kid who will not eat if the foods on his plate are touching each other. (side note…I was one of those kids.)
The food touching problem is easily fixed. Get the child a child’s plate with divided sections. Now the food won’t touch!
The child who only eats chicken nuggets and nothing else is a bit harder to claim a victory, Again offer plenty of choices. The area of variety and choices is a bit tougher when it concerns food. Appetites for other flavors and textures will develop in time. In the meantime, load up on those nuggets.
Confusions About Being Particular
When a child is overly particular about certain items, some people automatically assume they have autism. Those people need to realize they are particular too. Being particular changes, it’s formed as we grow older… we will only buy one brand of car…we eat steaks cut by a particular butcher…we only eat one kind of, well whatever.
Being particular in a child is not a sign of autism. It’s a sign of a child being a child. As the child grows older, his or her way of being particular changes. They will be just like mom or dad. Particular about the variety and choices. Just like they were taught. It’s not a sign of autism,
Some assume the child has a learning disability because they won’t participate in any activity but one. The child in question could be one of those children who would rather watch. Then when their activity rolls around, they show the other kids how it’s done.
A particular child can be annoying. A child who has plenty of variety and choices to make can still be particular. These children could very easily grow up to be excellent problem solvers. They are quick to learn their particularity can live in harmony with the choices they make.
And you the parent be very particular about giving them love and affection every day!