My son has a new-found love of movies and it drives me nuts. Growing up without television was one of the single best decisions my parents made, especially for my personality type. We had a TV, but only had access to movies for special occasions. So there it stood, a big black empty looking box that rarely roared to life, and that is how I liked it, empty looking. Now before I go on some awful rabbit trail about TV and toddlers I will steer myself back on track, transitions. His love of movies has led to a love of the cases and he reads them, rather than  a book. Being that they are (or rather were...) in a drawer that he had access to I decided to strap on my mommy boots and change this dynamic in our home. Given that this was a success (sorry if I spoiled the ending of the story for you) I wanted to share. So often there are many more steps backwards than forwards when dealing with a toddler that I LOVE a successful toddler-parenting story.

Knowing his little heart the way that I do, being sensitive and gradual was going to be the key to success in this transition. So one morning he woke up to "his" movies not being in the drawer. While a bit confused he searched and then moved on to something else. Step two was convincing him that something else being in that drawer was a good thing, and letting him think it was his idea. So the other night he was at the drawer and looking a bit perplexed at the progressing emptiness of it's contents when I suggested he fill it with his books. His SPECIAL books. He got so excited he ran from the room and came back as I hoped, with more books than would fit in that space. I suggested mommy move her movies to make room for his special books and he jumped on that idea. In 5 minutes the problem drawer went from a constant issue to a special "secret" space for his favorite books.

Now his movies are in zippered boxes under the couch, out of sight and hard to pull out and his favorite drawer is filled with mommies favorite-for-him things, beautiful, well-loved books.

This process reminded me of the importance of approaching my toddler as a little person with very real feelings and fears. To deal with him as sensitively as I would a dear friend in a state of her own transition. And to soften my heart to his so that we continue to grow together in communication and respect, rather than apart. To my fellow parents of toddlers I hope you are encouraged.
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