If You're Trying To Make Sense Of Your Toddler. Umm... Don't?

"They don’t have any sense yet, they’re just one marble and some tumbleweed in there," says parenting coach Lisa Bunnage.
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The other day my toddler had a meltdown at the dinner table because my partner opened the back door to call our cats in for their breakfast.

There was screaming, there was back-arching, she was inconsolable.

At the time I tried really hard to figure out what had gone wrong. That night, my other half and I sat down to determine the trigger. We went over and over what had happened. Was it the door being opened? The fact she’d thought the cats were asleep (she said as much over her bowl of cornflakes), but then they’d appeared from outside? Did she not want the cats to eat?!

It turns out we probably wasted a lot of mental energy trying to get our heads around a situation which simply wasn’t going to make much sense.

Lisa Bunnage, a parenting coach on TikTok, recently said the most common mistake she sees in parents of toddlers is that they’re trying to make sense of their child.

“You’re trying to figure them out, you’re trying to reason with them, you’re trying to make sense of them – they don’t have any sense yet, they’re just one marble and some tumbleweed in there,” she said in a video, which had been viewed more than 314,000 times at the time of writing.

“They’re brand new, fresh human beings – they’re just forming, OK? Imagine if you’ve only been in the world for two years, and for one of those you’re a potato laying on a bed,” she said.

A fair point. I’m definitely guilty of forgetting this.

The parenting coach went on to explain how toddlers might stick their hands in their pants and smear poo on the wall (fun!) and “to them that makes sense, because they don’t have any sense”.

She added that “they’re just going to do what they do” because they work off of urges and what they see around them.

“If they do something you really want to correct, use consistent corrective actions because they learn through watching you and through actions, but it takes a long time,” she said.

While the advice certainly resonated, most people just couldn’t stop laughing at her analogies.

“The potato laying on the bed was wild but accurate,” said one parent in the comments section, while another said the marble and tumbleweed analogy “gave me quite the chuckle”.

Meanwhile, parents shared their own stories of their own kids making no sense whatsoever. “I always say to my toddler ‘you don’t listen’ then I’m like ‘of course you don’t listen, you’re a new human being’,” said one mum.

Another shared an anecdote that sums all of this up perfectly: “Today my toddler cried because he was sure his ‘nose was upside down’. I didn’t argue, I just pretended to pop it off and put it back right. It worked.”