It's a Two-Way Street | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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By Cheryl Bac

It's a Two-Way Street

Uploaded: Jun 28, 2014

When our son was a baby, we quickly learned that his needs for food, sleep, attention, and physical contact could vary dramatically from one day to the next. Most of the time we learned, after the fact, that these behavioral changes were due to a medical issue, growth spurt, teething, or a cold coming on. Oh, how we wished he could just tell us what was going on!

Well, we got our wish. Our toddler's vocabulary is now exploding into sentences. He can tell us exactly what he wants, when he wants it, and how he wants it.

Of course, most of a toddler's requests can not (or should not) be accommodated. No, we are not buying that toy. No, we cannot skip your doctor appointment.

Although sometimes unreasonable, I don't consider our son's requests to be manipulations or a battle of wills. Because, just like a toddler, I've made my fair share of unexpected, unreasonable and seemingly unnecessary requests this pregnancy (got to love pregnancy cravings).

Being pregnant, my energy level also fluctuates from one day to the next. Some days I have the energy to venture out to 3 different playgroups and other times it's best to spend the day relaxing at home. I ask our son to accommodate my ever changing and unanticipated needs, so, when I can, I do my best to reciprocate when he makes similar requests. I've chosen to skip or arrive extremely late to playgroups when he is having an "off day." How else is he going to learn to reciprocate the favor when mommy is too tired to kick a ball outside or too uncomfortable to play with trains on the floor? Communication is a two-way street.

How do you communicate your changing needs with your children and help them do the same?