Nassau County Parents of Multiples Club

Ask A Mom

How do you get toddlers to stay by your side in public instead of running for the street or out the door? I'm scared to take them anywhere these days. They tore up a deli this week lol.

Jen M: I had to put a cabinet lock (one of those cheap self adhesive ones) on the top of the front door once they could reach the front door lock. As for staying by my side, it is still a challenge at age 4 but I give them a speech before we go anywhere about staying with me, behaving and if they don't behave we will have to leave right away. And you have to actually leave.

Deirdre L: We practiced the Freeze game in the park or yard. They would run around and I would yell Freeze and they would stop what they are doing.. Then say Go and continue with this. We then played the "game" on the sidewalk doing the same thing. I would let them get a little away from me then yell freeze. This works well for me. I now can let them wander a bit and when they go to far I tell them to freeze and they listen. Very much like a game for them. As for not touching stuff, this is hard. When they were little they were always in a stroller, everywhere we went. Once they got a little bigger I told them in the car that they needed to stay near me and keep hands at our sides and if they listen and were good we would get a treat. Bribing always worked. Now that they are 5 I know longer need to bribe them but just tell them they need to behave and they know that is the expectation.

Jackie N: When they were little, I just kept them in the stroller or a wagon as much as possible. Then they got too big and wanted to walk, so we played the "freeze" game like Deirdre. We also have a "family meeting" before we get out of the car. "How many grown ups are there? One. How many children are there? Two. What does that mean? We stay together. What do we do? We stay together." I started saying the whole thing, and eventually they started providing the answers to the questions, and now it's a routine "sing song" thing. If it's a place with specific challenges, I provide specific questions. For example, the LICM. "If Steph wants to play with the bubbles, but Tyler wants to go up in the elevator, what do we do? We do bubbles for 5 minutes, and then we do the elevator. We stay together. Does Tyler go off to the elevator all by himself? No, we stay together. Does Steph stay with the bubbles while Tyler and I go to the elevator? No, we stay together." Etc. Always ending with "we stay together." Then, when we're in a place, and one starts to run off, I say "excuse me, how many grown ups are there?" and they say "one" and almost always come back because we "stay together." Our rule is that if you run off, you have to either hold my hand or sit in the shopping cart for the rest of the time, whichever is appropriate for the location. I also have a "two people two hands" mantra for when we're in a parking lot or crossing the street. Two people two hands means I've got one kid holding each hand, and they chant "two people two hands" as we walk. It's silly, but I find they're much more cooperative with things if there's a chant or a song to go with it.

How/When do you get rid of pacifiers?

Katie M: We took there pacifier away the day after there second birthday.. we did it cold turkey.. we said they were for babies and that the babies needed them and never gave them back. Threw ALL of them out so there was no way I could hand it back to them if they were crying. They cried for a About 4 nights. Each night got less and less..and when they asked for it I said a baby has it and thanks you so much for sharing it with them..  it's not an easy process so good luck!! 

Jen M: My kids only used pacifiers at bedtime. I had a few in my diaper bag in case they got really upset. When they were about a year old, I just threw them out in the garbage one day. They looked around for them that night. I told them we didn't have them anymore, and that was it!

A good neighbor will babysit, a great neighbor will babysit twins - author unknown