Parenting PSA: If You Have A Toddler, Don't Do This...

Whatever you do, do not tell a toddler about something exciting unless it's going to happen the very next second. Trust me on this one. As usual, I've learned this parenting principle the hard way.

Looking back, I can see so many times I should have caught on to this parenting fail...

The first being Christmas last year. We kept telling the kid, the entire month of December, on a daily basis, "Santa is coming soon!" The daily Santa talk was mostly due to the kid asking if Santa was here yet. I would just reply with, soon, and thankfully, that would be the end of it. God Love the kid, on Christmas morning he excitedly ran downstairs and began looking around, but when his smile faded, I asked what was wrong, my sweet little toddler looked up and said, Where is Santa? The poor kid honestly thought Santa was coming over to hang out with him.


Then there was his birthday not too long after. We kept telling him his birthday was coming soon. Welcome to Fail #2. Everyday when the mail came, he would ask me if his birthday was here yet. Poor kid, he actually thought his birthday was coming in the mail.

Most recently, is my battle with Halloween. It all started when we put up Halloween decorations and started talking about what happens on Halloween. Now, every night, he wants to put on a costume and go to the neighbor's house.

He wears his Spiderman costume daily. Including out to run errands. FYI: This is one of those parenting battles I opted out of. (I have his actual costume hiding so he doesn't destroy it before Halloween.)

Spiderman: It's OK mommy, we can go over (to the neighbor's) and they will give us candy. All we have to do is say, trick-or-treat.

Me: No, honey, it's not Halloween yet.

Spiderman: Yes it is, it's after dinner and getting dark. It's time for trick-or-treating.

This exchange has been going on for the last four nights in a row... There's no turning back now. Hello, Fail #3.

From now on, I'm not gonna tell that kid anything exciting until the second before it's about to happen. Because, God love him, he just can't even grasp the idea of something not happening the minute I tell him about it. The kid has no sense of time. The second he hears about something awesome, he wants it to happen. Immediately. And until it finally does happen, it's all we talk about!

I'm sure there is some "parenting expert" out there who would say it's really best to tell kids early about exciting news to teach them patience, or some 'life lesson' like that. But until that expert wants to come to my house and listen to the repeated "is it here yet" questions, I'm sticking to plan A: Zip-it! 

Toddlers are fickle and curious little creatures. It's important to proceed with great caution when hyping them up about something. Especially something not happening anytime soon.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit