Compromising with Toddlers

By Allie, Shine SLP

Toddler Compromise.

The relationship with your child can often feel like being in a constant state of negotiation. 

You may feel you are always saying “no” or “we have to do it this way.” Deep down, we all really want less conflict and more connection. When your toddler refuses to wear those socks with his shoes, and you want to make him wear them, start asking yourself “why?”. Additionally, “could the socks be bugging him? Why do I need him to do this? Often we are parenting out of fear. Is it really a big deal? Are we just conforming to what society wants or are we letting our children be comfortable and express themselves authentically?

Of course, there are “rules” that society has evolved to. The friend pictured above really wanted to do therapy in his diaper. I explained to him, the best I could, “we are in a place where others play so our clothes have to stay on” and he seemed to understand. It is challenging (and beautiful) that toddlers are so in the moment. He saw there was no one else around and he was with a familiar and safe person. We compromised that he could let one shoulder out and that was that. Before I jumped to an authoritative state, I simply paused and thought of the next best solution. 

Common Myths we can bust right here:

-your child cannot be spoiled 

-the aren’t manipulating you or “have you wrapped around their finger”

-they won’t expect it all of the time and if they do, is that a problem?

-he will be perceived as a baby…childhood is short, let them be little!

-they need to learn to toughen up- “this is how the world works”- our children can change the world, and that starts with us!

Life is too short. Let them wear the mismatched outfits. Let them bring their blanket to school. Enjoy the brief window of childhood! As a parent, this allows you to enjoy the freedom of choice as well and experience the world through their eyes. It’s a big world out there to enjoy!


An 8-week program for children age 3-6 with sensory processing differences

Children with sensory processing differences have difficulty with regulation, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to interact with the world around them. Our Sensory Explorers group targets regulation in order to build engagement! This group is led by pediatric occupational therapists Mackenzie Baldock (2:30 group) OR Meghan Day (8:30 group) and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, all of whom specialize in using developmentally appropriate strategies to support children so they can learn new skills. Group meets once/week for 60 minutes.

Wondering if this class is appropriate for your child? Some characteristics of kids who benefit: easily frustrated with play, repetitive play, difficulty sitting/keeping still to engage in play, refuses to allow others to engage in play, unable to be messy, overly busy, quickly overwhelmed in a busy environment, picky eater, difficulty tolerating grooming/dressing/diapering routines, struggles with transitions/following a group plan/routine. 

Goals of the group include:

  • Child participating in a variety of sensory play activities
  • Engaging socially with others in the group
  • Providing a non threatening environment where children can experience new sensations with the support of a pediatric Occupational Therapist and PLAY Project consultant
  • Providing personalized resources to caregivers, so they better understand the sensory system and learn strategies to assist their child with regulation outside of group
  • Opportunity to meet with other local families

GROUP MEETS for 8 weeks:  Caregivers must stay on the premises to support their child and learn helpful strategies. Children will separate from caregivers for the session; caregivers can socialize in the lobby (we will also provide a few toys for siblings to play). Caregiver education is a key component of this program. 


OPTIONAL Summary Report available at close of session. This 2 page report will summarize your child’s participation in the class and provide helpful sensory strategies to increase their participation in activities. This report could be given to teachers in classrooms & daycares or utilized to help educate other caregivers about ways to help your child participate. This option includes a 30 minute Zoom meeting with Brenna and MacKenzie/Brenna and Meghan to review the report and discuss your child’s progress in Sensory Explorers. COST: $100 due at sign up