Thanksgiving is right around the corner. People are gathered together. There’s lots of food, and talking. Unfortunately, your toddler is not happy and ready for a meltdown. It may be because of the obvious hungry, tired and diaper needs changing, or simple overload from so many people and being ignored.
If your usual trick of distraction doesn’t work, try a nursery rhyme or two. I’ve had enormous success with singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider with many children. Of course it may be that having a stranger waving her hands and croaking out a tune is so alien to the child they stop crying in amazement. Or, it may be that a familiar tune has a calming effect and someone else is paying attention to them.
In any case, carrying around an action play or song in your mind is a lot easier than carrying around another toy that could easily be left behind. Get the entire family involved. See who remembers the most rhymes and songs from their childhood. If you can’t remember the words, make some up. You may not have noticed that many of the tunes to nursery rhymes are used over and over. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for example, uses the same tune as the ABC song. Getting your little one familiar with the tune, puts your child that much closer to learning their ABC’s.
Nursery rhymes and songs also help teach your young child to hear the beat and rhythm of language which is linked with the skill of syllable separation and to help teach prediction. Knowledge of nursery rhymes can also be a strong predictor of later reading success. So sing with gusto with the entire family this Thanksgiving. You’ll be doing both you and your child a favor.