Believe it or not, you and your toddler can begin the lesson of waiting at the early age of nine months old. The most important tip is, the younger the child, the more fun the waiting should be! Here are some examples for you to practice :
Play a game! Try dropping blocks into a basket, or take turns making and identifying animal sounds with your child. Each time you take your turn, say “One, two three…” and then pause two to three seconds with an excited face, just to keep your baby engaged.
Play the same game but extend the pause to five seconds.
18 Months – 2 and a Half Years:
At this age, you may use the verbal request to wait, however make the waiting time shorter for your child. For example, if your child says, “Up,” you can say “Okay, wait two seconds”, count to two, and pick up your child up.
3 Years and Older:
As your child gets older, you can be more direct. You may try saying, “Okay let’s wait and count to 10”, or “Okay, I can do that after I rearrange these apples in this basket”.
Children are very observant of the phrase “1 minute”, so it is better to give your children alternative ways to wait.
You may introduce your children to these methods when they are in a playful mood, rather than when your toddler is in a grumpy mood or screaming because lack of sleep. This way, when the time comes for your child to wait, they will be comfortable enough to do so.
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