The Ten Toddler Commandments
Just like those escaping Egypt feared the wrath of God if they did not follow the Ten Commandments, parents likewise fear the wrath of their toddler when they break one of their hard-and-fast rules. If you are not aware of these commandments, please familiarize yourself with them so you, too can avoid the fire and brimstone that comes from a toddler scorned.
1. You shall not hold any baby but me.
What parent hasn’t been accosted by toddler-side eye when they go goo-goo over a new baby. And God forbid they put that child into their lap for a cuddle. This is strictly forbidden in toddler law and will bring about pouting lips and crocodile tears.
2. You shall not hand me the cup with the spill-proof lid.
Here’s your cup, sweetie.
No! That one!
That one doesn’t have a lid. You will spill your juice on your new shirt.
No, I won’t! I want that one!
Okay, but be careful. Don’t….okay, you spilled it.
It’s on my new shirt!
3. You shall not help me do anything. “I do it myself!”
While it might seem easier and faster to zip your child’s coat or help them onto a chair, you couldn’t be more wrong. Toddlers must do everything by themselves, even if they want to pour the full jug of milk into a six-ounce cereal bowl.
4. If I liked it yesterday, I will refuse it today.
Menu planning is full of variety when you follow this exciting toddler rule. It’s like a “choose your own adventure” every day when making a meal for your little one. Will they like mashed potatoes today or will they use them to paint the table? The fun is in the mystery.
5. You shall not look, touch or speak of a toy I am currently playing with, played with earlier, or will want to play with later.
In The Lion King
, Mufasa tells his young son that his kingdom is everything the light touches. This is how toddlers view toys in the room they’re in. If it is in sight, it is expressly theirs.
6. You shall not ask me if I need to go potty or sniff my diaper in public.
Even if your toddler is squatting in the corner, making grunting sounds, or violently crossing their legs, it is not appropriate, at any time, to ask them if they need to use the bathroom or be changed. It is more important that they continue scribbling on that piece of paper or finish watching that episode of Paw Patrol they’ve seen six times.
7. You shall not get me out of the bathtub before every drop of water has disappeared down the drain.
I don’t know if you know this, but if you pull your child out of the tub too soon, they might not get to tell each bath toy goodnight. This is unnecessary trauma that can be easily avoided.
8. You shall not give me the socks with bumps.
Bumpy socks are an epidemic in this country, and toddlers are keeping us ever-vigilant about the danger of these bothersome garments. If you do, by some chance, dress your child in a sock with a bump, don’t worry, there is a way to counteract this mistake. Just allow them to wear their princess dress-up shoes or slippers to the grocery store and all will be forgotten.
9. You shall not covet my naptime.
Like most adults, we find the idea of napping glorious. But, at no time is it appropriate to tell a toddler that “you wished you could take a nap.” This will only serve as a challenge to said toddler to see how long they can stay awake.
10. You shall not eat something you are not willing to share.
If a toddler is forced to share his new set of blocks with that drooling baby from next door, then you better be willing to share that bag of cookies you’re hiding in the cabinet your toddler cannot reach. It is futile to sneak food you’re unwilling to share because toddlers can hear a package crinkling from two rooms away with the TV blaring.
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About the Author
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.