If there is one thing we know about toddlers, it is that they lack any regard for their own safety.
They jump off couches, reach for knife blocks, and are drawn like moths to flames. What they lack in reasoning, they make up for in what some would call “adventurous behaviour” and what their parents would call “the reason we need to buy more wine.”
While it’s difficult to pinpoint the most dangerous spot for a toddler, since they seem to find danger lurking in even the most padded of rooms, a car park has to be near the top of the list. Dangers include:
- Parked cars
- Moving cars
- People driving cars safely
- People driving cars unsafely
- More cars
So since we can’t eliminate the people or the cars from parking lots and we need to take our toddlers places, it’s important we find a way to keep our children from dashing off into the danger zone while we are searching for our keys, opening a door, or buckling a younger sibling into a car seat. Enter, the parenting hack – Sticky Back!
Like most great parenting hacks, this one comes from preschool teachers who come specifically trained to keep children safe, entertained, and organised. A job that seems physically impossible, so one can only assume that these people have been gifted with supernatural abilities. Give preschool teachers all the money.
Here’s how Sticky Back works. When a preschool teacher needs the children to line up to use the toilet or go outside to the playground, they train the kids to imagine their backs are covered in glue and they need to stick themselves to the wall. So, when a teacher says “Sticky Backs on the wall,” the kids scramble into line against the wall and press their adorable little spines against it, creating a perfectly straight line of entertained children. Amazing!
Sticky Back works wonders in car parks as well.
If you’re heading out to the car, first of all, hold your kid’s hand for as long as you can. The odds are high they will make a break for it at some point and the magic of Sticky Back only works when you are within arms reach of your car. Hold on tight, mums and dads. That little one is wiggly and that red car over there is VERY shiny.
Now you’ve made it to your car, suffering only two to three panic attacks as your child tried to escape. Good for you! When you need to let go of your child’s hand, find a nice safe spot on the car, right next to the back passenger sided door is good. Show your child the spot and announce it’s time to play Sticky Back.
If your toddler has already been preschool trained by the preschool magiciansteachers, Sticky Back might already be a familiar concept so you have a leg up. If not, demonstrate Sticky Back to your child without worrying about what the other parents are saying as you plaster your body up against their car. They probably aren’t even looking at you because their sweet cherub is losing his mind about car seat buckles and bananas.
When it’s your child’s turn to Sticky Back and safely fake glue themselves to the car, use over the top praise to congratulate them on their achievement. Try “WOW, you are superglued!” or “That’s amazing! You’ve become one with the car!”
Do not try “I bet you’re so stuck we won’t even be able to get you off the car!” This will backfire. Ask us how we know…
Another pro tip for properly executing Sticky Back: Remember that you don’t have all day. Sticky Back will keep your child safely in place and out the way of other cars for about 20 to 30 seconds. Anything more is going to be pushing it. So work fast, work efficiently, and remember that your child is not actually glued to the car. This game could be over any second now so use those eyes in the back of your head, which so conveniently grew upon birthing your child, to keep watch.
(And to be extra safe, wear some shoes you can run in. It’s always important to have a plan B.)
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