Let’s say that you’re in the comfort of your own home working on a major project that needs to be completed before you turn in for the night. However, the moment you take out a tablet or laptop, your toddler runs up to you, curious about what you’re trying to do. This makes it rather difficult to get anything done, especially since most toddlers suffer from what’s known as the “mine” syndrome.
The Mine Syndrome Explained
The mindset of a toddler is rather simple. Children are self-centered, and as such, everything belongs to them. Children don’t like being told that they can’t have something, so even a logical statement like “I’m using this laptop for work. Go sit down and wait your turn,” will fall on deaf ears. You can try it if you want, but it will, more likely than not, never work. And of course, you can’t just tell them that it’s not theirs, as this will only make them want the device even more.
This type of distraction means that you’ll have to improvise if you want to get any work done. Sagacent suggests the following five practices to help get you past the toddler roadblock, so long as you remember who’s really the boss in this situation.
Create a Diversion
Children have short attention spans, so it’s best to take advantage of them when you can. If you’re desperate to get a moment of work in, try turning on the television or start up a movie--preferably something with lots of color, noise, and fast edits.
Switch One Thing Out for Another
You might be able to trick your toddler into thinking that they have the device, even if they don’t. Hide your laptop or tablet in a place that they can’t see and hand them something that looks like the device. If they aren’t old enough to know any better, you can pull a fast one on them by doing this, all while they just run off with “the device” thinking that they have gotten the better of you. This might be only a temporary fix, so keep an eye out for when they realize they’ve been duped.
Hide in the Bathroom
If you’re having trouble getting work done, you can always try hunkering down in one of the most private places in your household: the bathroom. Surely your toddler knows that the porcelain throne is a place for privacy… right? Right? Well, it’s worth a try, at least.
Get a Babysitter
If the work that needs to be done is critical and time-sensitive, it might be worth just hiring a babysitter to handle the responsibility of watching your kid and keeping him or her out of your hair for a few hours. If you deem the work important enough to justify paying a babysitter, you’ll find that it’s worth the extra expense.
Just Wait it Out
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t get your toddler to go away. In cases like this, try waiting until they’re too tired to keep their eyes open any longer and put them to bed. Once they’ve turned in for the night, the real fight begins--trying to stay awake long enough to actually get work done.
Oh well. At least you have coffee.