Toddler or drunk adult? Sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart

Toddler or drunk adult? Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference

May 30th, 2013

By Aimee Heckel

You know the friend: That Guy. Imagine the drunkest friend you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to be sober around, and that’s what it’s like hanging around with a 2-year-old.

Honestly, what parent hasn’t had this conversation:

“Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey! Listen. Hey! It’s time to go. We have to go. Where are you going? We’re leaving now. Where are your shoes? What do you mean, you lost them? How? You don’t know? Fine, we’ll just go without shoes. THIS WAY! Hey! Hey! What do you mean you’re hungry? For cookies? No, we’re not eating right now. We’re leaving. Right now. Where are you going? No, I won’t dance with you. Hey, PUT YOUR PANTS BACK ON.”

Sound too familiar to be funny? Well, here are some ways to, er, “sober” up the way your little one is acting. No promises these strategies will work for grown folks.

Does it seem like your toddler doesn’t hear a word you say? Well, that might be your fault. says toddlers actually need adults to teach them to pay attention. But, instead, parents often fall back on the count-down: “By the time I count to three, you better stop doing that.” According to experts, this strategy actually conditions your kid not to listen to you until the third time.

Instead, try this: When you want to talk to your child, recommends getting down on his level and making eye contact. State your request clearly, simply, authoritatively and quickly. If you want to offer your child a choice, make sure you’re OK with either option. And don’t make consequences that you don’t follow through with. In addition, it can help to pair your words with a related action.

Using that advice, a more effective way to get your child in the car would be to look at him face-to-face and state, “It is time to get in the car. Do you want to climb in or do you want me to put you in?” And then jingle your keys and walk toward the door.

yhst-36301388650840_2260_11916813Since children are all about playing, it also helps to make things fun. Let your kid get his own pair of toy keys from your bag when you’re getting yours. (We love these wooden Melissa & Doug keys for $8.99 at Use this coupon code from to get free shipping on $50 or more at Jacob’s Room.

Also, pick up some car seat toys to keep your kid busy while you’re driving, like this K’s Kids rearview mirror toy, $17.69, at

pTRU1-4608031regBabies ‘R’ Us sells a great Snack and Play travel car seat tray, good for, well, snacks or playing, $19.99. Buy through and get 1 percent Cash Back.

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Aimee's passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning news articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University. When she's not writing stories for a Colorado newspaper, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees and disadvantaged people in Africa. She's also a mom, a wife and a furious bargain-hunter. Reach out to her at, find her travel board on Pinterest, follow her on Twitter, or ping her on Google+.

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