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!


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An 8-week program for children age 3-5 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 therapist Mackenzie Baldock and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, both 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 begins with a 30 minute Open House on Tuesday October 4 for your child & caregiver/family to attend. This provides an opportunity to meet the therapists, acclimate your child to the space and provide some initial information about your child’s responses to a variety of sensory activities. 30 minute sessions will be offered from 12:30-4:30 on 10/4 with sign up sent with registration.


GROUP MEETS for 6 weeks October 11-November 15: Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 OR Tuesdays 3:30-4:30. ***We ask that families who are able remain flexible on the time slot so we can effectively pair your child with others that they will gain the maximum benefit from for social interactions!** Caregivers are encouraged to stay to support their child and learn helpful strategies, however other options will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Caregiver education is a key component of this program. Make-up date in case of class cancellation: 11/22/22


Group ends with a 15-30 minute Zoom wrap up session with caregiver(s) on November 29th. Every participant will receive a short, personalized Session Summary report complete with suggestions/recommendations for helpful sensory supports in the child’s home/classroom/community.