We all known Toddlers are disruptive but we don’t have to leave them at home for everything. Here are 7 Places you can take your toddler that you might not think were possible.
Each of these was on lists I found of places not to take your child. A few of them I found ridiculous and a few more I struggled with personally. I just want to take a quick moment to talk about each.
7 Places you can take your Toddler
1. The movies
This was a problem I ran into very quickly. I love the movies. And I refuse to give up my life. Now I do agree that the movies are no place for a baby, but a toddler is manageable with a little bit of prep. And you do have to be prepared to walk out if things go sideways, even if it’s for a little bit. However, the only way that they will learn is if you teach them.
I’ve found that with a little bit of prep work and a working knowledge of your child that it is entirely possible to take them to the movies. It also means that you have to teach your child how to behave, something that I sometimes feel we are indirectly discouraged from doing as parents. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see some of the behaviors we see children engage in public venues.
Segway aside, going to the movies with your child just takes a little bit of prep work. For us it meant taking a pacifier, brining Valkyrie friendly snacks (yes I sneak them in), having a sippy (which most theaters are okay with), and making sure its something she will be interested in. So no, I am not telling you to take your child with you to the R rated movie.
The movies are possible, however, you have to gauge when your child is ready. Freya went to her first movie at 2 I believe and out of at least a dozen movies we’ve gone and seen we only had a problem at one.
2. A funeral
This was the genesis of this post. I was telling a friend of mind about how the Valkyrie was going to a funeral for her Great Grandmother. She was aghast that I let her go. Even worse, I found this nonsense posted all over the web. The truth is that death is a part of life. Shielding a child from it only makes them more afraid. More confused. I really don’t get this one, but I feel its important.
I was unable to attend, but I’m told she did very well. My Valkyrie and I had a talk about death before she left and after Great Grandma died. Nana and daddy explained it again at the funeral. Now, they did take some toys with them and a cell phone. She has some quiet games we allow her to play, but those were the moments she couldn’t sit still. And there were other children there who held her. She loves doing anything, even if it’s sitting still, so long as she’s with other kids.
Again, this will depend on your child and your perspective. Some kids will deal better than others. And the amount of attachment to the person in the casket matters as well. Freya was upset during the procession, but she was fairly well attached to her Great Grandma. She always saw her every time she went to Nana’s which in the last year has been at least every other month or two. And Great Grandma always bought her or gave her something when she came.
So you can take a toddler to a funeral.
To note. I have not tried this one, but it is on the list. Unfortunately, with everything I have to do for my parents and the house and work, I just haven’t had the time. Again, this one is just a matter of planning. I have, however, known families that do this and I have asked them how they managed it. Mainly because there was a time that I wouldn’t have understood this. A time before I was a mommy myself.
First, I wouldn’t plan a long trip for your first camping trip. Location is important too. Unless you are starting with a baby, I would plan on camping out in your backyard first or just spending a day playing in a tent you’ve set up.
Second, I would make sure you bring plenty of things for your child to do. There will be some moments in which you cannot attend to them and will have to cook or something. However, I think that these moments are also important. Our children have to learn to entertain themselves. They also have to learn to do so without television or the internet. A problem I was surprised to already be facing with a 3-year-old.
This is also an excellent opportunity to teach life skills. I wasn’t too much older when I began to learn to cook over a fire and how you build a fire. They never let me build a fire at that age, but I learned and watched the process. I remember my grandfather taking me out to fish. I remember my grandmother showing me how she made a tripod for the pot.
We didn’t do them while camping per se, but we can start teaching the beginnings of those skills now and fascinate our children in the process. Not only with the outdoors, but with the things they can learn to do. There may even be things they can help you do. Grandpa used to teach me how to secure the food box he used to use when camping. Even if we were just playing in the backyard or I slept outside by myself.
4. Doctor’s office
This is another one that baffles me. I saw this online and it actually upset me a bit. I work at home taking care of my mother. This happens to us a lot. There are instances where you have to take your child with you. I personally think someone thinking this is wrong is extremely ridiculous if you have taught your child to behave and plan ahead.
Whenever we go to the doctor I have a bag. It has her diapers, wipes, the tablet for while I’m dealing with the doctor, some books, toys, and stuff I use for homeschool. Even if you don’t homeschool you can work with your child on educational goals while sitting in a waiting room. You can give them a coloring book. Or let them play with the toys you’ve brought. If we run out of things to work on I read her a story. If I’m filling out paperwork sometimes grandma reads her a story or she plays with her toys.
Most importantly, on days that we have a doctor’s appointment, I don’t let her have access to technology until we are in the office. She usually only gets a few hours a day, or at least that’s the goal. This way when she gets it she is involved enough that she doesn’t distract us while we deal with the doctor.
When well prepared I see no reason why you should not take your child to the doctor with you if you have to.
The Concern with concerts is that they are loud. Very loud. There is also a concern about how rowdy people are going to get. I understand both of these, but again, if concerts are your life, there are ways to mitigate this. I personally don’t take the Valkyrie to concerts. She is very sensitive to large numbers of unknown people, the dark, and loud noises. She used to get upset when I ran the vacuum cleaner or blender.
However, I have friends who have taken their children to concerts. And I”ve gone with them. And again, this will depend on your child’s temperament and your personal definitions of what constitutes as age-appropriate music. When my friends took their child to a particular band’s concert, I didn’t agree, but they saw nothing wrong with it.
Regardless, the precautions taken by this family were two-fold. First, we got seats in the back. The goal was not to be in the party zone. We just wanted to hear the music live. So they made sure that the seats were fairly far back in the stadium. Second, they bought child-sized noise canceling headphones designed to protect from decibel damage.
Personally, I don’t think I would ever take my children to a big name concert, just because of the massive amount of people. However, I would have no problem taking her to something more local and small. But even those events can get loud and I would make sure she had those headphones to protect her delicate little ears.
This was another one on one of those lists that just blew my mind. Children can totally go to weddings. I will caveat that with one thing. Know your audience. I would not take my child to some of my friend’s weddings were they to get married. If I know there is going to be a lot of drinking or actions I wouldn’t want my child to be around, that’s one thing. Not going because a child is disruptive? To that, I say hell no.
Again, this just takes some prior planning. The wedding I took the Valkyrie to last summer went very well. It helped that she loved the person walking down the aisle. It also helped that I brought her coloring book. She may not have watched the whole ceremony, but she entertained herself. We sat in the back. We were ready to leave if we had a problem and I explained what was going to happen several times and several days in advance.
I also brought extra clothes for messes. I made sure she wasn’t wearing something that easily stained. And…I brought finger foods in case I couldn’t find something she would eat. Quite frankly getting her through the ceremony was the hardest part, but so long as I had other diversions at the ready, even that was not a huge problem. Mostly she just wanted me to hold her up so she could see what was going on up front.
Again, this was from a posting I found online. It was talking about church proper. I have mixed feelings on this one for several reasons. It is the one that I am most likely to think could be a problem, but again I’ve seen it work so I know its possible depending on the child and how they have been raised to behave. This is not a criticism on any parent struggling with this. I know some kids would have a lot of trouble with this even if they are angels.
While I don’t really have any recommendations for this, I do suggest, if you really want them there, to try it every once in a while. If Christianity is your faith, it is important to go to church. I know it was for me when I was little and I still like to go and hear the uplifting sermons on occasion. I send the Valkyrie sometimes and she loves it.
The church she went to with our good friend doesn’t have Sunday school until the second half of church. And often she didn’t want to leave our friend’s side. Even after she had been there for a while. However, I couldn’t include this. I think it is important that we teach our children to sit still. That we increase the time that they can do so as they age. And we shouldn’t exclude them from the church. Back in the day, kids were just forced to sit still. Then after church, they were allowed to play with each other.
Or in the church, I grew up in the children came to church and sat for the second half of the session once a month before we sang for choir. It allowed us to learn what church was like. The sermon was based more around us and we even came up to sit with the pastor. And at the end, those of use in the children’s choir (almost all of us) went up and sang a song.
The point is that you can make church with a toddler work. There are even churches out there who still do these things.by