Toddler Development: Creative Responses

When Gavin was younger, I used to use the “options” tactic as a pre-emptive strike against tantrums.  You know the one…  “Would you rather have A or B?”  It used to work like a charm, too.

The purpose of offering two choices is so that the child does not become overwhelmed by too many options.  It usually works with young children and it used to work with Gavin.  Somewhere during the last few months – I can’t remember exactly when – Gavin came up with a third answer.  When I offer him two choices, he’ll come up with a third choice.

For instance:

Me: Gavin, would you like to bathe upstairs in Mummy’s bathroom, or downstairs in Ah Mah’s bathroom?

Gavin: I don’t want to bathe, I want to play trains.


Me: Gavin, would you like Mummy or Daddy to feed you?

Gavin: I can’t decide.

The books never said how you should handle the third option…

Over the last couple of days, Gavin has started to resist going to school as well.  Although he’s always in good spirits when I pick him up from school, he always opposes to going to school in the morning.  I suspect it is because he has so much fun with his god brother.  Yesterday, Daddy sent him to school.  Knowing what Daddy would say if he said he didn’t want to go to school, he gave the following excuse instead:

“My toe is owie so I can’t wear my shoes.”

Great.  My son is barely three years old and he’s already coming up with excuses why he can’t go to school.  We have thirteen more years of excuses to go – this will be interesting.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “Toddler Development: Creative Responses

  1. Hahahaha… that’s a good one. I think we should put together a book: “101 excuses from children”. If they are this creative now, I wonder what excuses they will give when they are teenagers…


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