Baffling Toddler Behavior, Explained
The "Old MacDonald Phase"
Toddlers become so obsessed with a favorite song (or book) that they want to hear it over and over.
- What's going on: Doing things again and again is predictable, so it's comforting.
- How to deal: Indulge her. All that repeating may annoy you, but it's calming to her. Don't worry -- she'll find new songs and books.
The Scaredy-Cat Phase
Bathtub drains, flushing toilets, or costumed characters send your child running for cover.
- What's going on: With improved reasoning skills, she wonders, "If poop can go down the toilet, can I?" And big, furry creatures can look scary when you're small.
- How to deal: Explain she's safe in a way that makes sense: "You're too big to fit down the drain."
The Control-Freak Phase
All doors must be shut. Refrigerator magnets have to line up. Cars cannot be put away with dolls.
- What's going on: Because a kid can feel overwhelmed by new things, utter order gives her power.
- How to deal: Let her take control of one room, and expect some meltdowns when things are out of place. At least she's learning from sorting and arranging!