What Promises Mean to Toddlers — Pizza and Pools

So my daughter is now 20 months old. As I shared in a recent post (Letter to My Almost Two Year Old) I can’t believe, it actually just hit me that in a few short months she will be turning two. Why does time pass by so quickly? At this age, they are learning and developing so quickly. We have been working hard to help her to better understand the world she lives. The world that may seem so big to understand at her small age.

She is a very curious child, a girl that needs to understand what she is being told and she needs you to explain to her why certain decisions are the way they are and why she isn’t for example, allowed to climb the table and jump off of it (but yet in gymnastics it is ok!)

promisesRecently, we have started teaching her the importance of promises. We explain to her what a promise means and why it’s important to keep them.

Usually, our conversation  goes like this. It’s nap time and she keeps insisting that we go to the Park.

Mama PA-r, PA-rk”

“It’s sleepy time, it is time to relax, but we can go to the park after dinner I promise,” I explain

She will actually repeat the part of my sentence where I say I promised. Some parents may think I promised the park as away to achieve the end result that I was hoping … A sleeping baby. The promise was not made to serve that intent, but rather to teach her an important concept.

I truly didn’t believe she understood its meaning until we were on a trip out west. One particular day, I told her that for lunch we would do pizza (her fav!), followed by the pool.

I actually said, “I promise that I will take you for pizza and the pool.”

I don’t remember why I felt like making that particular promise. I don’t even specifically remember the whole context. She wasn’t even looking for either of these things.

So here is how the whole story goes, my LO refused to put her coat on to leave the hotel for pizza, to avoid a potential tantrum I opted for a spot inside the hotel that served soup and sandwiches. During our attempt to have lunch, she wouldn’t settle. After about 10 mins or so, I decided enough trying to force her to sit and decided to take our food to our room.

See we had to walk by the pool in order to get back to our room, and as we did she runs over excitedly pointing and saying “Pool pool, mommy swimming”. I explained to her that it was time to eat lunch and then we would come down to the pool after her afternoon nap.

What was her response? “MAMA, P–I–Z–Z–A, Pool!” (there was jumping and head bobbing) with a soft hint that I had reneged on my commitment, my promise to her.

Eventually, I calmed her enough to return to the room where she had a much needed nap. Her papa of course picked her up pizza for post-nap and I immediately took her swimming (we spent over 1 hour in the pool! Splashing, practicing her swimming lessons and enjoying the other kids in the pool).

This was one of the many reminders that my little girl really is able to understand what I am explaining and teaching.

When you make promises to those you love, family and friends it’s important to honour those commitments.

This is part of April’s Everyday Mom Link up, feel free to check out the other blogs that joined today by clicking the badge! 



7 thoughts on “What Promises Mean to Toddlers — Pizza and Pools

  1. Reona Turcotte says:

    Much needed..Food for thought.!! and the importance of being very careful what you say,,,,..not just to pacify or calm a situation but know that ‘We’ as individuals are held accountable for those “words”. A great lesson to learn early on…particularly when those first few years are the most formative and build the character that is the future.

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