Getting almost 2yo in car/bike trailer seat without having to bribe her. - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Getting almost 2yo in car/bike trailer seat without having to bribe her.
sharr610's Avatar sharr610 11:30 AM 05-26-2012

Which lately seems to be my only option and it doesn't even work sometimes.  I can't even get her in it long enough to get it properly fitted which might help her comfort level.  Ideas?  I totally just had to cancel my trip to the farmers market because I could not get her in the bike trailer without restraining her to the point that I was afraid I was going to hurt her(she is VERY strong).  She knew we were going.  She was excited to be going.  She put on her helmet and everything.  It was not a transition issue.  She just would.not.go. 

sharr610's Avatar sharr610 11:33 AM 05-26-2012

By the way, this is somewhat new behavior although a wee bit longer than a typical "phase" so far.  

Snapdragon's Avatar Snapdragon 12:34 PM 05-26-2012

I must admit I use food to get my 26 month old to do things regularly. I try to get the healthiest kind of "cookie" I can find or some things that I don't actually mind giving him (organic whole grain breakfast bars for example) - and I do say, let's go into the car and I will give you a cookie- I don't see it as too much of a problem yet. I don't give him more than I am actually comofrtable, but I have no energy to fight him on every transition- so I just make it easier on myslef and give him chips or a healthy snack that he likes- I guess I feel at this age it is okay, and it keeps our day running smoothly-


do you feel that the bribing thing is a problem for you- is that why you are looking for alternatives? I feel like there are plenty of years to move away from that but at 2 they are still so in the moment that I may as well make it easy on me and my kid, make it fun.

It doesn't feel like a behavioral problem and the alternative I could see would be me wrestling him into the car seat while he resists- no thanks! so in other works I don't see it as a problem.

what about it makes you uncomfortable?

sharr610's Avatar sharr610 01:18 PM 05-26-2012

I don't have issues with bribing in a general sense.  It can work in some situations.  My issue is that it doesn't always work with DD.  Also, with my son, we fell into the bribing trap with potty training somehow and it took ages to break it.  It set up a power dynamic with him that just wasn't productive for any of us.  Safety issues are hard.  I think bribing a kid who doesn't get the safety issues, overall, not a biggie in the scheme of things.  BUT, I don't want it to be around for a couple of years/create an icky dynamic AND I want something that is generally going to be more effective.  Distraction can work more than not, but this too is unpredictable.  I guess I'm just looking for fresh ideas.

Snapdragon's Avatar Snapdragon 04:16 PM 05-26-2012

yeah that totally makes sense! I hope you find some good ideas here- I don't have any-  :) but I am sure others do.

dancingflower's Avatar dancingflower 10:38 PM 05-26-2012
Oh, I must share something I heard the other day.

I study early childhood education. We were discussing In class how we don't like reward systems (we can include here bribery) because the child won't really internalize the lesson.

But then, our professor mentioned that there are exceptions when these systems can be very useful. Whithin them, she mentioned that young children sometimes are not ready to understand the need for a certain behavior (or the need to comply with being strapped to the chair so you can arrive at the market) so if external rewards is what is going to get them to do what is expected, so be it.

With that said, while it makes sense to use any resource that will get your dd to comply with things that must happen, I, as a mother, would be afraid to rely on that too much and not know when my child is developmentally ready to learn the lesson for the lesson itself or to behave for the right reason. How and when will I take the rewards out of our discipline?

So it's more about you balancing it out later because, today, your DD is decided that she won't get in that chair but you are going to get that Kale, won't you?
dancingflower's Avatar dancingflower 11:13 PM 05-26-2012
Hey sorry I didn't read your latest post where you said you are looking for new ideas beyond rewards.

Can't think of anything because getting physical is always the end of the struggle here. Like when DS is too cranky around bedtime and I end up having to pin him down to brush his teeth or "baby, mama needs to use the bathroom" until I can't reason anymore and I leave the playground carrying a screaming toddler in arms (this was today) He generally surrenders quickly and just cries, defeated, with the head on my shoulder.

It feels like your dd is strong willed (very cute btw) so you will have to convince her. "Reasoning" with her through rewards sounds like a positive way to do it.

You wont fall into the trap this time around.
ThreeTwoFive's Avatar ThreeTwoFive 10:04 AM 05-27-2012

The counting to 3 thing has worked really well for us with the car seat, so maybe it would work with the bike seat.  

DS is a limits tester, so I have to be super consistent about this.

If he's jumping around, not sitting in his seat right away, I say "I'm going to count to 3, and on 3 I will put you in your seat."  Then I use a loud, authoritative voice and say "one".  I pause, and if he starts moving in the right direction I stop counting.  If he keeps playing, then it's "two."  If I get to "three" then I pick him up, fold his body and put him in the seat.  It works for other things, too, but I try not to over-use it.  After almost a year of using this (DS is 2 and 8 months now), I only get to "three" about 5% of the time.  Mostly he hops to it on "one."  

It's not a punishment.  It's just a "you have time to decide to do it on your own, and after that I will do it for you."  Their drive to be independent makes them want to do it themselves.  


I don't let him eat in the car, so giving food to get in the seat wouldn't work for us.


You could also do a lot of talking about "that's so sad that we couldn't go to the farmer's market because you weren't ready to sit in the bike seat."  


Finally, maybe she could look at a book or play with a special toy while you adjust the straps?  Something to distract but not get in the way too much.  (And something that wouldn't injure in a crash if it stays in there with her.)

marsupial-mom's Avatar marsupial-mom 10:17 AM 05-27-2012

I use rewards and distractions a lot. But I rarely phrase things "If you do XYZ then you'll get ABC." Instead I simply say, after you do XYZ then ABC happens. For example, "After we get you strapped into the seat then you can watch Elmo on the DVD player" or "After we ride to the farmers market then we can look at the butterflies."


If I were you I think I would try to have some special, favorite toy that "lives" in the bike trailer. Take her to the store and let her pick out a new special toy and explain that this is the new bike trailer toy that she can play with when she's in the bike trailer. Worth a try, right?

mariee's Avatar mariee 07:26 PM 06-01-2012

I'm with you on limiting rewards and stuff, but sometimes its an option that fits the stage a toddler is in.  It can totally be a temporary thing.


Around 18mo, DS resisted getting into the carseat.  I ended up offering one M&M.  Just one.  90% of the time it worked.  After a month or so, the need to bribe, so to speak, faded out and he would just get in on his own again.  So odd.  


anyway, I wouldn't worry about it becoming a habit.