My 15-month-old toddler recently discovered that the dinning room chairs, the hamper, the activity table, and the folding shelf can be moved from one place to another when she pushes it. Watching her, I often wonder where this little person gets her energy and strength from! If you’re a parent of a toddler and you’re reading through this article, most probably we’re in the same stage. So, here are four personal tips that can help you go through the everyday chaos.
Know the Reason Why
Before you get all fired up and interpret your toddler’s behavior as a personal attack on your parenting skills, let’s talk about the reason why toddlers do what they do. The biggest reason is that they find learning exciting! They’re not pushing the chair just to make a mess. They’re doing so because they’ve discovered that they can do it. Slowly and keenly exploring their environment, every corner is interesting and challenging. That little corner in your living room where the coffee table is? That’s unknown territory they can’t wait to explore! So when they push around pieces of furniture, they’re not doing it to make everyday life hard for you. They’re doing it because they’re basically learning about their surroundings and skills.
Protect Your Flooring
Now that it’s a given that the rearranging stage is normal, what can you do about it? Protect your floors. Especially for heavier furniture that can scratch your hardwood flooring, put an anti-slip rug under so that your toddler can’t easily push it around.
Control Your Reaction
Your toddler is more observant than you think. More often than not, they do things that they know would catch your attention, even if it’s a negative reaction. When they push the furniture around, try not giving any reaction. Don’t reprimand and just continue on what you’re doing. Eventually, your toddler will get tired of trying to catch your attention and will stop whatever it is he/she doing.
Replace the Furniture with Heavier Pieces
For the safety of your toddler and for your peace of mind, consider replacing your furniture with heavier pieces or if possible, bolt it in place. This will prevent your toddler from pushing it around, minimizing the chances of accidents. If this is not an option, try rearranging your furniture in a way that your toddler won’t easily access the usual pieces he/she pushes around. For example, put the dinning room chairs against the wall or put the activity table in a secluded corner. This way, there’s not enough room to move it around.