There are many delicate and wonderful things all over the house during the Christmas Season. One year, we received a 12 foot Christmas tree as a gift. We really enjoy this tree, but if it toppled on top of a toddler, it could literally crush an unsuspecting one-year-old. I knew from the moment that thing went up in our living room that first year, the two toddlers in the house were going to require continual supervision when in the room with it, but more than that, I wanted them trained not to go near it without an adult. So here is what I did.
After the tree was up and the lights were lit, I took the toddlers (one at a time) to the tree (in my arms) for “Tree Time.” This was the time I let them touch the ornaments gently, stroke the branches, smell the tree, and anything else that was gentle and safe. I made a very big deal about “Tree Time.” Once their curiosity waned a bit, I moved them away with the declaration that “Tree Time” was over. No more touching the tree until their next tree time. Usually two times a day was more than sufficient. During other times, if they looked like they were thinking of heading toward the tree, I would greet them with a stern: “No, it is not tree time. Move away from the tree.”
Amazingly, this worked. Sometimes the toddlers would come to me inquisitively and say, “Tree Time?” and I usually would take them if it was possible. After a day or two, I rarely had to correct them at all.
I hope this little tip helps keep your toddlers safe this Christmas season.