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Follow Your Dreams Like a 2 Year Old

Posted by Nicole Jocleen on February 28, 2015 at 5:50 PM


Have you ever had a 2 year old ask you for something like a toy or food? You tell them no. What do they do ask again either in a repetitive mode, cry, or whine. Sometimes they even try and get it themselves. Usually, the outcome is that they get what they want. Whether it’s right then or 30 minutes later they get it. Why? Because you become tired of hearing them ask for it.


Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.


Be Nice! Learn to apologize and how to forgive.

Have you ever had a 2 year old reach out and smack you? No, then you haven’t been around them long enough. Anyway, in the moment you are stunned and slightly angry. Your reaction may be to scold the toddler. Their reaction is usually to cry or at least appear sad. Depending on how the toddler was trained he or she may say, “I’m sorry” or give you a hug. Sometimes neither happens and you look up seeing them doing something cute 10 minutes later and guess what. All is forgiven.


Luke 17:3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.



Give and accept support

Have you ever seen a couple of toddlers playing together and then one of them gets hurt? Sometimes the other toddler will try and hug or help their friend and magically the friend is all better. But then sometimes when the toddler gets hurt and their friend reaches out the toddler rejects the friend. They are upset and they don’t want the support of their friend. More than likely they want the support of an adult. The adult is bigger and more powerful. If they would recognize that there friends have the ability to help as well they would be able to move past their issue a lot faster without waiting for the support of a bigger entity.


1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.


Failure is not an option

At some point in a 2 year’s old life they think they can do everything. They want to shut the door. They want to carry everything. They want to take off their own diapers. You as the adult are baffled as to what makes them feel they are capable of doing any of this. They haven’t processed failure. Plus they may have done these things before…with your help. Even though you may not be physically helping them this time your presence gives them the confidence that they can still do it.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


Fear nothing

Have you ever seen a toddler attempt to jump off something high? You ask yourself do they not realize what will happen once they hit the ground. No, they don’t realize that there is something to be afraid of. What about when they hit the ground, start crying, and you have to calm them down. You think they will know not to do that ever again. Not exactly, no less than 10 minutes later they are at it again.

Also at what age do we become afraid of other people? I have never met a 2 year old that was afraid of another 2 year old. If they are hit by a fellow toddler they have no problem hitting, biting, or pinching right back. If the toddlers hit them again, they just hit right back. No one walks away. Usually an adult has to intervene. If the toddler doesn’t hit back it’s usually not out of fear but out of trained reaction. They have been taught not to react like that or they are not used to being hit.


Psalm 118:6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Stop Crying!

 Have you ever had a 2 year old run up to you crying because another child took their toy? You immediately look at the child that “allegedly” took the toy and try and figure out if you should take the toy and give it back or just see what happens. Usually something does happen, like the child drops the toy and moves onto something else. You try and get the 2 year old’s attention to inform he/she that the toy is now free. They are so distraught that the toy was taken away that they can’t process the concept that the toy is now free. Eventually they get it, but the child that took the toy realizes the toy is once again a hot commodity and ends up running back and gets the toy before the 2 year has a chance to get it back. Lesson learned: Don’t let crying and complaining allow you to miss out on a new opportunity.


What you want a cookie?

Have you ever potty trained a toddler? Usually, when they “go on the potty” you reward them with a piece of candy or maybe a cookie. Why? It serves as an initiative. It provides motivation. It works too! They get so excited when they potty because they know what’s coming. You are excited too because your plan is working. All is good. Then something changes. They are now potty trained, but they still expect you to be excited when they potty. They still want the reward…the cookie. Your attitude has now changed and you don’t feel that your toddler needs to be rewarded for something they are now “expected” to do. They (You) have accomplished what they were expected to accomplish according to their age and ability. It’s like celebrating a high school graduation two years after it happened. It was great when it happened, but now you have to move on. Continue to elevate.

Eventually you have to let the pull ups go!

I’ve potty trained toddlers in a day care setting. Usually parents bring their child in and say they put the child in pull ups and the training has begun. As a teacher you are excited for the child and parent. You still have other kids in your class who are wearing diapers and you hope that they will be motivated by seeing their friend use the potty. Then something interesting happens. A child that was in diapers shows up in pull ups, masters the potty, and is now wearing underwear. You look at the original pull up wearer who is still in pull ups and say, “what happened?” Why haven’t you elevated to the next level? Your friends and peers have surpassed you and they started behind you. It’s something to think about.



During my experience with toddlers I have often watched them play together. One of the most interesting things is to watch them build a tower with blocks. Either one or two things always happens, a friend comes around and tries to add blocks to the tower to make it higher or a friend comes around and knocks over the tower. When the helpful friend comes around, the toddler is often on the defense and tries to make the friend go away. He or she doesn’t understand that the friend is just trying to help. Now when the trouble making friend comes around and knocks over the tower they always have a look on their face like, “what did I do?” They know what they did but they didn’t realize the impact that it would have on their friend. In life you will be the 2 year old building the blocks, the helpful friend, and the trouble maker. When you are the one building the blocks make sure you allow help when it comes. When you knock down a tower, an enterprise, or an empire the least you can do is help the person rebuild it.

Categories: Motivation

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