Why do they do that? Throwing.

You might have noticed if you are a parent or if you work with young kids that they do some pretty strange things sometimes. A lot of times we are so busy trying to get through a moment when our kid is doing something they “shouldn’t”, that we don’t take the time to get curious about WHY they might be doing the thing they’re doing.

A big one that comes up a lot is throwing. People ask me all the time, why do kids throw toys? And the answer is...there’s not one answer. There are lots of answers. But let’s look at one reason kids throw toys.

Some kids throw toys because they don’t know what else to do with them in the moment. Seriously. It’s as if they “forget” what to do with that LEGO or block or baby. And their system sort of misfires. Don’t believe me? No?

Have you ever had a shiver? Or a strange feeling that comes over you for a second and then goes away? I’m talking about that same feeling; just with less control.

Keep in mind, our toddlers have not been on this planet very long. They’ve only just started to learn the rules of engagement, to learn the rules of gravity, to learn to control their bodies (let alone their emotions!).

But we’re programmed as parents to think that we need to teach our children not to throw. And we do. BUT…

If we can recognize that sometimes when they throw things, it’s not on purpose, that it’s just a temporary glitch, then we will do everyone a big favor.

Because, if you respond with a big fat reaction, then maybe that “oops” moment turns into an “on purpose” routine that delights your child and makes you crazy. Then you will have to teach your child not to throw toys (but it will be because you taught them that throwing toys gets them lots of attention!).

If you take a moment to watch your child and see if what just happened was an involuntary glitch or not (and we’ll talk about what to do if it’s not in my next video), then you’ll know how to respond.

If the throwing was involuntary, you might choose not to react at all, and instead just keep building. You might go over and get the errant block and start cleaning up or keep building. Or, you might choose to say something neutral, like, “oops, I need that block, can you bring it here?”

It’s totally ok not to correct your child if they unintentionally do something “inappropriate”. They’re still learning (heck, so am I!)!! Let them learn that throwing is not how things work by experiencing that nothing exceptional happens when they throw.

And let me know how it goes!