EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Kate’s Corner: The Toddler’s Creed

Posted on: May 3, 2010

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

The Toddler’s Creed

“If I want it, it’s mine.
If I give it to you & I change my mind later, it’s mine.
If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
If it’s mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it is mine.”   Anon

No truer words have ever been spoken.

The Toddler’s Creed is a long standing “poem” used in working with toddler teachers. It’s also a resource given to parents once their beautiful, bouncing baby learns to toddle and walk, starts to see the world in a whole new way and discovers they have the incredible power to grab and hold on to whatever they see and want!

Toddlerhood is the “Me!” stage – the “I want!” stage – the “I can!” stage and it is highlighted by the toddler mantra: “NO!” This is healthy development!

If you have lived through the toddler stage at your home and both you and your toddler have come out of it as stronger individuals, congratulations! If you are in it now, smile and put away the china! If you have a lovely little bundle still in a crib and buggy, get ready! Toddler time is right around the corner! Hurray!

I love toddlers! They are smart, funny and full of life! Research tells us that from birth to 3 years old, we grow the quickest, our brains develop the detailed wiring that is needed in every aspect of life, our sense of self is established and we truly understand the power of communication. Those totally dependent infants can now run, talk, and take your hand. They want a book read, make choices, look for friends, float boats in the tub and literally grow before our eyes. It’s astonishing!


When toddlers are egocentric — be patient.

When toddlers want to dress themselves — give them time.

When toddlers are curious and want everything they see — be sure it is safe.

When toddlers are running all over the place — run with them.

When toddlers are defiant — don’t take it personally.

When toddlers want only you — hold on to them and enjoy each moment!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


3 Responses to "Kate’s Corner: The Toddler’s Creed"

[…] Parallel Play Stage (2 years olds) – “Don’t even look at my toys! How dare you ask me to share!”  Toddlers are moving!  Now they can choose a toy or playspace they want – not just play with what is given to them. They are starting to realize the power of language that is possessive, inviting and fun!  But, like parallel lines in the universe, toddlers will move through space, sit next to each other with toys and want the same things without ever interacting.  Because when you are a toddler what’s mine is mine. (Click here to see Kate’s Corner column The Toddler’s Creed.) […]

A co-worker commented today about her 19 month old son. He had a play date with another toddler 1 month younger. (Both boys are single children). My friend couldn’t help but laugh about the antics of 2 toddlers experiencing thier first “MINE” contest.

Her story reminded me of the “Toddler’s Creed”. We had it posted in most of the daycare centers I’ve worked in, and I had it posted on my own son’s bedroom wall. That poem got me through his “Terrible-two’s”. I’ve cherished every special moment with him since. He is now almost 16 and I still apply that poem. For some reason teens seem to act a lot like two-year-olds. ~smiling~

Thank you for having these posted.


Corleen Paiva

Thanks Corleen! We have this posted in all of our Centers as well – it’s funny to read but really hits home when you have a toddler of your own and you are experiencing it first hand!! Thanks for your comment!

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