Tired of playing tug-of-war with your child? Try this.


When you say, “no grabbing,” do you practice what you preach?

After watching this YouTube clip, you may make “no grabbing” your own personal mantra.

Respect your baby’s personhood…

When you choose not to grab an item from a children, she feels much less threatened. You’re demonstrating that you trust her and believe that she will be beneficent toward you. She’ll love that vote of confidence! Chances are, she’ll give you the item and won’t pull it back from you. Farewell, exhausting and humiliating Adult vs. Child Tug-of-War!

So like a ninja, rotate at the wrist, turning your hand from knuckles-up to palm-up, and simply ask, “May I have that, please?” (And play it cool. Even the youngest infant can smell insecurity.) 

Your good behavior will rub off on someone you love…

Here’s the beautiful part: your child will learn from your behavior. With some coaching, he’ll use the same strategy to ask for something, and you won’t see as much grabbing. He’ll learn to treat others respectfully.

I dusted off this ancient YouTube clip to encourage (and entertain) our kiddos as they adjust to life with a mobile baby who is now getting ahold of anything in a 20-foot diameter. From the start, I want them to hold their palm open and ask him, “May I have that, please?” instead of grabbing things from his hand (but, it’s so easy to grab from a baby!). I’ve learned that if we begin this pleasant exchange with babies, they are less likely to grow up into grabby, defensive, “mine, mine, miners”.  And that’s a win.

P.S. Don’t give up on this if it doesn’t work the first or second time you try it. Remain consistent and kind and I bet you’ll see big, wonderful changes.



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