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Quick and dirty parenting tips: How to make toddlers keep their promises

Mar 31, 2018

Doesn’t it happen all the time to you, too? You make a deal with your toddlers, you compromise, they agree, and then… they forget. Sometimes they really don’t want to keep the deal, but most often—truth be told—their mind is not that Machiavellian, they genuinely forget and in just a few minutes!

This is a quick and dirty tip that Alex and I have started using to make sure Oliver keeps his promises and respects our deals.

We record him agreeing to whatever we want him to agree to. It's time proof!

Lately, for example, Oliver always wants to watch two Curious George episodes before going to sleep, and when he realizes he’s not going to win that battle, he tries to convince us to let him fall asleep on the couch in the living room (Alex did it for a while not to disturb Emily sleeping since they’re in the same room, but we wanted to break the habit).

So one night we recorded him agreeing to our terms and when he then tried to get his way (10 minutes later), we showed him the video. He remembered (and was actually quite surprised to see himself agreeing to it) and we avoided a power struggle. We have shown him this video many, many times since, and it always works!

What’s really important, in our experience, is mentioning as many details as possible and ask questions they have to answer (as opposed to making a video explaining the deal without the toddler being actively involved).

Give it a try next time you sense a power struggle is coming, it’ll work!

Comments

Becky • Apr 15, 2018

Such a great idea! And sweet example. Thanks for sharing that video!!

🌸 Carlotta • Apr 22, 2018

Thanks for your comment, Becky! Sometimes the little things make a big difference :-)

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I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Montessori Peace table
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
10k on Instagram!
Terrible twos
The organs of the body: workshop for kids
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
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Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
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A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
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