Is your toddler particular about order? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-21-2014, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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My toddler is 2 1/2


Just curious if this is my son's personality/character, or if it is more of an age thing.  He is extremely particular about things being in the right place, my doing things in a certain way, etc.  I guess examples are warranted here:


If I sit down for a meal in the chair his dad usually occupies... "don't sit there. that's papa's chair"  and then extremely insistent that I move.


laying out his pajamas in a very particular way before he gets into them and getting VERY upset if I place them any differently (the tantrum part of this is end-of-the-day fatigue, but it's the WAY he insists on doing it that i'm curious about)


the other day, my husband hung my son's potty insert up on the hook where we store it, and put it facing to the right.  I apparently usually hang it facing left.  It's SUCH a subtle difference that when he started yelling about it and pointing that I had no idea what he was even upset about.  He walked over and removed it and then placed it back in the opposite direction.


That last one is interesting because it's a reminder to me that *I* tend to do things in a very particular (and usually very consistent) way, so he's perhaps he's picking this up from me?  Or could it just be that I've created such an orderly environment that it's more noticeable when things are done differently?


He also notices everything, it seems.  If I move something to a new place, if I buy something new that he's never seen.. and it can be something really small and seemingly insignificant, but he'll still notice it.


This isn't something I'm worried about; my question is definitely only stemming from curiosity at this point.  It actually seems like it would be a very normal and understandable quality in someone at this age... an age where they are becoming acutely aware of their world and are also aware of how little control they have over their environment (thus trying to control it where they can?)


So does your toddler do this sort of thing?  Share examples if you'd like to

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#2 of 7 Old 02-21-2014, 06:35 PM
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Yes my 2 and 3/4 year old is the same way and has been for awhile. As soon as I open a drawer before I get a chance to get back to it he is closing it. If the laundry doors are not closed all the way he is there . We have a table with pictures of family and when he picks them up to look at them he precisely puts each picture back in it's spot. Actually he has gottan a bit better about things being out of place. Maybe because he is almost3 . The other day dh husband did bath time quite differently than I do and he actually did not freak out.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-22-2014, 07:35 PM
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It's a normal phase kids go through as two-year olds.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-23-2014, 10:20 AM
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Yes! This is definitely normal and it means that your little guy is right on developmentally.


If you're interested in reading more or figuring out ways to predict order-related problems before they happen, I recommend looking into Montessori practices. Maria Montessori identified that all children have a sensitive phase to order and that external order helps them to form internal order as well.

tracyamber and sassyfirechick like this.

Mama to J, born 9/4/2012. Some of the things we are into: co-sleeping, breastfeeding, & the Montessori method.


Visit my Montessori and natural parenting blog:

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#5 of 7 Old 02-24-2014, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks, everyone! so helpful.


Yes, I think he'd do well w/ some of the Montessori philosophy around order.  And it really does make sense to me, especially at this age in particular.  Hey, I love order!  Can't blame him one bit on that.

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#6 of 7 Old 04-22-2014, 06:16 PM
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I know this post is a few months old, but it was still comforting to read about your little guy being so particular. My son is driving me crazy these days with his random freakouts over little things I do differently. I am glad to hear that it's a normal phase and I'll look into some of this Montessori order stuff. Thanks

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#7 of 7 Old 04-25-2014, 06:38 PM
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I remember this phase... missing it a little now that we've progressed to the must-leave-things-out-cause-I'm-still-using-them (-for-a-week) phase.
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