How To: Tell a Toddler what they are NOT


Most of the time, the easiest way to stop my boy from doing something naughty or silly – is to tell him what he is not. E.g. When he is chewing on something, like his shoe, your shoe or a piece of furniture (yes, this actually happens) I tell him “Don’t do that. You are NOT a puppy dog”

Here is a list of things I have told him that he is NOT (I will alter the list as more items become available and I remember them!)

  1. You are NOT a puppy dog (chewing on the furniture)
  2. You are NOT a piece of kindling (Toddler decided that it was a good idea to open the fireplace door and sit inside on the ledge – Thank God that he stays away from the thing in winter when we use it, but if he gets bored during summer – watch out!)
  3. You are NOT a cat (stop eating the cat’s food will you or lapping water up out of the cats bowl)
  4. You are NOT a piece of rubbish (Get your head out of the rubbish bin – NO! Don’t play with it! Put it back!!!!!)
  5. You are NOT a moth (Stop eating your clothes! – Though I doubt this will really work, as I was one of those kids…)
  6. You are NOT Sylvia Plath (Yes, he had his head in the oven, No it wasn’t turned on)
  7. You are NOT a stripper (as in “Stop dancing on the table, you are NOT a stripper”)
  8. You are NOT a piece of washing (he was in the laundry tub, we were trying to figure out how on earth he got into there as there was no steps and quite high – he managed to use the little handle on the cupboard door to hoist himself up)
  9. You are NOT a nudist, this is NOT a nudist colony. (Yup, he refused to put some clothes on and today I decided not to fight him on it – so around the house Toddler is running probably thinking “FREEDOM!” I’ll leave making him put clothes on for when we go out of the house…)
  10. You are NOT a cat (This time, he emptied his raisins into the cat’s food bowl and ate them out of there on all fours – naked)
  11. You are NOT a cat (told him this to stop him from climbing the cat climbing towers at the pet store)
  12. You are NOT a dog (again, at the pet store, him crawling into every dog kennel)

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