Teaching Toddlers Habits to Grow Into

My wife recounted a conversation she had the first time she took our daughter to the dentist. Like most first-time parents, we were fairly clueless about how to care for our little princess. It seemed common-sense that you’d start brushing her teeth when she actually had teeth, right?


The dentist recommended we go ahead and start brushing her gums because you want to get her used to the types of behavior that she will grow into over time.

I’ve thought about this over the decade since that conversation. The basic concept was clear—you practice important habits before the child actually needs to implement them so they are already in place when they become necessary. This is the work of a strategic dad of a toddler.

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