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Scholar
Original Poster
#1 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 2:58 AM
Default Parenting your Toddlers
Im curious on how other people raise their toddlers, esp. with teaching them to walk, talk, and potty.

For a long time, I've only been potty training the toddlers, that is it. Mainly because by the time they learned it (and the want is locked), ,their aspiration is platnium just a few hours before their birthday; so they raise up with platnium mood already. I've read that people would ALWAYS teach the toddlers all 3 skills, and I'd like to try that out.

Do you teach your toddlers to walk, talk, and potty? What keeps you motivated to do all 3? Or what happens if your toddler does not learn all 3? Is there a punishment/negative side affect you created?

What else do you do in raising your toddlers? Do you teach nursery rhyme? Do you only give them skill-building toys? How about eating, do you always put them in the chair? Anything else is welcome too.
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Inventor
#2 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 3:01 AM
Depends on how I'm feeling ,what I am planning for the family and the parents. Sometimes I use smart milk and teach everything other times I just take good care of them and leave them be.
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 3:13 AM
I almost always teach the toddlers all three and even a nursery rhyme if there is the extra time. Usually though, there's plenty of people living in the household to take care of the child while the parents are either at a job. So usually it's an aunt/uncle, grandparent, or sibling that is teaching them. With my parent sims, whether they are teen parents or adult parents, I make them very work focused. I have Inteen so once a teenager turns 18, or is about 7 days away from becoming an adult, they no longer have to go to school so they get a career. If they have toddlers at the time, their grandparents will be raising them while the mother and father are at work. I almost ALWAYS have a spare teen or adult in my house. Usually they are ones I know I would never play if they were out on their own and they do the chores that I don't want my sims that I enjoy playing to waste their time doing. Such as all that horrible raking that came with seasons, and of course, raising children. I am very extended family centric in my game and very strict on all my sims. Though, to throw in some reward for all their work, I do have some 'adult content' downloaded for them to have a little bit of fun when they aren't trying to become the top of their careers

EDIT: now that I think of it... that's probably the reason for all the unexpected babies popping out in my game
Mad Poster
#4 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 4:46 AM
I always use Smart Milk, and one of the first skills a toddler learns that way is potty training. If they're not too tired and/or hungry at transition, and a relative is fully-charged energy-wise, sometimes I can get all three skills before the following morning.
Scholar
#5 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 10:55 AM
I usually turn aging off once the baby turns into a toddler, so I can have the parents teach the skills at leisure. Then I turn aging back on after they've learned the skills.

That gives the toddler plenty of time to develop STR/LTR with their family, and for me to start getting a feel for their personality and quirks. And there's been some great quirks: one of my families had a toddler that actively refused to be taught skills by her mother, another family had a toddler that held the skill wants hostage and would only roll them when she had been read to and played with enough, and another family had a toddler that would -- if given the chance -- play with the logic shape blocks all day (he's now a Knowledge sim). That's just a few of them, and it's stuff I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't have turned aging off.
Forum Resident
#6 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 11:38 AM
I always use smart milk (and in my game, the IQ boost sticks until a sim moves out, so they have a permanent increase in skilling until they leave for college/I move them to a different lot), and potty train the toddlers at the first opportunity. I do try to teach one skill every day, and also do my best to align skilling with wants for the toddler. There's no consequence delivered by me if they don't learn them; I 'cash in' their LTA points as toddlers in the needs column, so if they don't learn all their skills they don't get to fill the needs column by the time they become children.

I don't use the high chair as I find it too much hassle (so they always only get milk), and as for toys the eldest get the skilling toys only; they do get the opportunity to play with the toy box and doll's house if they have an older sibling (although with the increased learning rate, I don't need to worry about their skill level).

For their last day as a toddler, I give them blankets so they can put themself to bed, and so I can coordinate their sleep so they're not still awake at 3AM (or coversely go to bed at 6:10PM and wake up at midnight). I do try to keep their aspiration at gold or above, and if they haven't rolled skilling wants, some interactions with their parents or grandparents is usually enough to get them to the desired level.

Angelos Town Prosperity updated 11th June 2012. | Albion Falls BACC updated 25th April 2011.

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Mad Poster
#7 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 2:46 PM
I've had a combination of toddlers created in CAS who had to be raised without smart milk and toddlers born in-game who might or might not have access to smart milk. Even if the parents have been successful in getting enough points for the smart milk, in some families it's nip and tuck whether anybody has gold aspiration or above at an appropriate time to make the smart milk. This is what I'm finding:

Potty training can be acquired in even the most hectic households IF a playable adult (rather than a nanny) is in the house with them at all times AND the player checks in frequently on the toddlers and initiates potty-training as soon as the toddler's bladder bar gets into the yellow and before the energy bar sinks to orange. If either or both of these bars is too low, the session will be wasted and even counter productive, as the kid falls off the pot, has a tantrum, and then soils his diaper. I keep the diaper changing station around for these emergencies, but in most families never have to use it once the baby grows to toddler stage. If the house is a two-story one, I tend to have an upstairs crib and a downstairs crib, and sometimes multiple changing stations, too. Always build bathrooms big enough to hold a potty chair, so you can empty it right away and have it available for the next use. If you have multiple bathrooms, have multiple potty chairs.

I always go for walking and talking, but whether I succeed depends on a number of factors - number of adult and teen members, their state of health and happiness at the time, their aspirations, whether another baby is coming along, etc. If the mother had a rough pregnancy it can be hard to keep the baby viable and family aspiration levels up high enough to use the smart milk, and these families will also have a hard time getting their acts together enough to teach the skills often enough for them be learned without it. However, I don't count the time as wasted as it creates stronger social bonds with the older members of the family than less strenuous interactions. Pigeon Hawkins, who had three teen brothers and two parents, got all three skills without smart milk. She thinks her big brother Harris, who voluntarily took responsibility for her while his mother was pregnant (he even skipped school to age her to a toddler) hung the moon in the sky, as he did most of her daily care and training, although it was Ma who got the aspiration points for completing her training in walking and talking and another brother who got the aspiration points for potty-training her.

Although sometimes I have one parent concentrate on walking and another on talking, generally I work on walking first and talking second, as a potty-trained walker can take himself to the pot faster than a crawler can. Never ever leave a toddler alone in the bathroom after a potty training session, or he'll play with the toilet.

High chairs can be invaluable in large families because they enable you to keep track of where the used bottles are. If you just get the bottle for a toddler who is busy crawling around you're likely to find it blocking access to something else later on. If you have twins, in particular, mealtimes are easier with two high chairs. Get Toddler one, stick him in chair, bring him a bottle, get Toddler two, put her in chair, bring her a bottle, at which time Toddler one is finished and banging to be let out, so take him to the potty, train, empty, let out toddler two, potty train her; meanwhile toddler one has found the rabbit and is happily skilling and Ma can finally take her own potty break and grab some leftovers before cleaning the used bottles off the high chair. You don't have to wander all over the house to find the Toddler One to potty train him while Toddler Two is screaming her head off to get out of the crib and bottles are accumulating in front of the refrigerator.

I stopped using the teddy bear the second time a visitor deliberately blocked the fridge with it. I make a point of getting all the skilling toddler items and leave them in different rooms so toddlers have reasons to go various places around the house and aren't stuck in the nursery all day. I've had the rocking horse but they seldom actually use it. They gravitate to the skilling objects in preference to other options, I find, and if all three toys are equally accessible will show a preference for one which can be used to guide your future choice of aspiration.

A toddler with a pet will snuggle it and, when she gets tired or hungry, will put herself to sleep on the pet bed and eat the pet food. This is appropriate as heck in certain families and in my opinion should be allowed and even encouraged if the parents are frazzled at all.

Families with toddlers get stuck in the house a lot and their out-of-family friendships decay. Make sure they have playable childless friends who can invite them to parties, take them on outings, or just have them over for a gabfest. (Why can't my sims serve visitors coffee? You ought to be able to kaffeeklatsch.) I'm finding that having a romance or pleasure sim in the circle of friends to perform these services in between their dates is an invaluable aid to keeping families happy and well-connected. However, inviting people over to a house with toddlers can be counterproductive.

Don't be afraid to put your tired parent to bed and leave the toddler running around the house. It's not like he can fall downstairs or burn himself. You can concentrate on the toddler and wake the parent up in time to forestall any food, hygiene, or energy emergencies. If your at-home parent is sick or pregnant, you might want to get pet beds and food bowls even if you don't have a pet. A potty-trained toddler with access to these items and at least one toy can be reasonably self-sufficient.

I've never had an option to learn a nursery rhyme or seen a blankie. Presumably these are FreeTime options, which I don't have?

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . My most recent book is Sullivan, That Summer. Widespot and Widespot RFD: The Subhood are both available here. In case you care.)
Inventor
#8 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 3:02 PM
The blankies are custom made and function the same way as the pet beds.
Instructor
#9 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 3:36 PM
I pretty much always use Smart Milk. I have been known to use a cheat and up the parents' aspiration so that it's safe to use the milk. I do have a family with a toddler where nobody has enough aspiration points yet to get the milk, so I'll just make sure the grandparents are always teaching the kid. That said I rarely do the nursery rhyme, I just make sure to hit walk, talk, and potty.
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staff: retired moderator
#10 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 3:42 PM Last edited by mangaroo : 20th Dec 2010 at 4:03 PM.
In my regular neighborhood (Prosperity), my Sim toddlers learn all three skills. The nursery rhyme is optional and depends on the circumstances. Sometimes, thanks to smart milk and bladder conditions and the autumn learning boost, I've had toddlers learn all three skills in less than a day, leaving plenty of free time (hee) to teach the nursery rhyme. Or the toddler has a non-parent relative (sibling, aunt, grandparent) in the house. Having that relative teach the nursery rhyme means the toddler will spawn the want to sing it with them, which is a nice break from the parent-focused wants.

Since these toddlers receive a steady diet of smart milk, I consider the high chair to be inefficient. Cribs might also seem inefficient, but I prefer them to toddler blankets because the parent can choose to wake the toddler in a crib up. This is important to me because I don't directly control toddlers. They are like little 4-day asylum inmates. My Sims interact with them to keep them out of toilets and the like, but if a toddler chooses to spend an entire day chewing his fist while Mom or Dad naps, then so be it. It's one of the characteristics of my playstyle designed to make sure my Sims aren't all cookie-cutter. (This is in contrast to a time when I drilled toddlers on the three pre-Freetime skill toys until they reached scholarship level in each.)
* * *
Challenges like ISBI and War are a little different. In those circumstances, toddlers are very unlikely to grow up with all three skills, which is why I would love it if there were a mod to plunge a child immediately into the red if s/he aged up without one of the three basic skills. I just want something to reflect that there had to be some quick remedial training to create the fully-functioning child. I suppose I could add another fine to my households (5000 for each skill not learned), but there's so much monetary control in my game already, I think I would like to see something different here.
Mad Poster
#11 Old 20th Dec 2010 at 4:23 PM
Mr. Roo, you may find this hard to keep track of, but have you considered behavioral penalties for failing to learn a toddler skill? In my Simmigrants family, kids who don't have a "learn to talk" memory cannot be helped with homework (because "learn to talk" = "learns Simglish" and if the older family members don't speak the language they can't understand the homework) and therefore cannot learn to study (or at least take much longer to do so; not quite clear on that point because the Hawkins family has one member who got himself to A+ and never got help with homework), which makes the teen and childhood years much, much harder. A child who doesn't learn to walk might, oh, let's see, not be allowed to do fun things that build body points like jumping rope (which my kids are constantly wanting to do) or play on certain play equipment.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . My most recent book is Sullivan, That Summer. Widespot and Widespot RFD: The Subhood are both available here. In case you care.)
Scholar
#12 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 12:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazzybum
Im curious on how other people raise their toddlers, esp. with teaching them to walk, talk, and potty.

For a long time, I've only been potty training the toddlers, that is it. Mainly because by the time they learned it (and the want is locked), ,their aspiration is platnium just a few hours before their birthday; so they raise up with platnium mood already. I've read that people would ALWAYS teach the toddlers all 3 skills, and I'd like to try that out.

Do you teach your toddlers to walk, talk, and potty? What keeps you motivated to do all 3? Or what happens if your toddler does not learn all 3? Is there a punishment/negative side affect you created?

What else do you do in raising your toddlers? Do you teach nursery rhyme? Do you only give them skill-building toys? How about eating, do you always put them in the chair? Anything else is welcome too.


My Sims teach their toddlers to walk and talk, nursery rhymes and potty train them.
They give them skill-building toys, all three of them.
They put them on a toddler chair to eat most of the times, but if there is no time because they have to leave for work, they simply give them a bottle milk.

While waiting for their offspring to grow up their life is a living hell. And because most of the toddlers have the annoying habit of waking up in the middle of the night, hiring a nanny is the price they pay for sleeping peacefully for a few hours. The real nightmare is when they give birth to natural twins: they could easily die of exhaustion.

My motivation lies on responsibility -- since they decided to have children parents ought to spend time with them. Sims themselves have a lot of aspiration points to get a few smart milks, and thus the training period does not take too long. I like watching how toddlers react to their first learnings and my Sim-parents expressions. It gives me a better understanding of their characters.
Field Researcher
#13 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 12:56 PM
I try and have every toddler learn at least the basics plus one other skill to level 5. I haven't managed it yet without smart milk though. I used to put them in high chairs for meals but its no longer a priority it just depends on the family. Generally speaking other than the teaching of skills I find toddlers actions cute as a button except for the screaming in the crib that makes me want to rip my ears off and throw them at the laptop.
Mad Poster
#14 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 7:53 PM
I prefer high chairs over bottles because toddler mush satisfies Hunger better than a bottle does. Same for nursing (I have Squinge's breastfeeding mod).

And yeah, don't worry about having the parents sleeping while the toddler is running around, since you can control the toddlers. I'd just be keeping an eye on their Hunger and Social needs. (Of course if you have twins, that takes care of Social.)
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Scholar
#15 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 10:13 PM
I used Smart Milk until I found out that Batbox (Pescado's Lot Debugger) actually has the same function (make me -> smart) and you don't have to have aspiration points to use it. I use almost always hacked cribs, that lets toddlers get in and out themselves and Inge's bottomless bottle helps to keep floors empty of spoiled bottles. As for toys, they get the activity table, charisma rabbit and logic toy.
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 11:01 PM
It's a cold and dark night, My little kid wakes me up once again in the middle of the night, he had a bad dream, I give him a hug and bring him down to the dining room, I light up the chimney and I bake some cookies and get some glasses of milk ready, we sit and talk and when the timing is just right...I throw him inside the fire!

I know...I should write my own parenting book

oh you don't say? Oh You Don't Say!? OH YOU DON'T SAY!?!? Wanna know who it was? They didn't say.
Scholar
Original Poster
#17 Old 22nd Dec 2010 at 12:43 AM
Wow it seems like alot of you guys use smart milk! I've never got into the habit of using it. I used it recently but the parents aspirations werent gold because I usually have my parents concentrate on work. My household consists of just parents and the kids, I havent played my town long enough to have grand parents yet, but I like the idea of having the grandparents live with them and help with the kids. I also like the idea that if the toddlers dont learn to talk, they cant be helped with homework. I might try that out, but I wouldnt know what to do about if the toddler doesnt learn to walk lol.

Anyways, interesting methods so far
Inventor
#18 Old 22nd Dec 2010 at 3:40 AM
There is also buyable smart milk. You can buy a few, put them in inventory. When the kid is hungry put one on the floor.

Also, so there aren't bottles all over the floor, put the empty bottles in one of the parents inventory. When they have a free moment, take one out, put it near a trash can, then direct the parent to throw it away. Bottles in inventory is better than low environment scores.

I don't buy multiple cribs or potty chairs. I buy one crib. If the kid needs to be put to sleep in a different room or on a different floor, I have one of the parents hold the kid, then switch to buy mode to move the crib to a different place. Same with the potty. I move it near the kid when it is needed, then move it into the bathroom so it can be emptied and kept out of the way. They aren't toddlers long enough to incur the cost of multiple cribs and potty chairs.

For feeding, I don't bother with a high chair. I just keep giving the kid smart milk. Or if the parents have extra money, I use one of Beck's feeding tables so the kid can crawl/walk to it, feed itself and gain a few cooking skill points. No point in making a parent wait on the kid like they are servants when sims really don't care about their kids anyway. I make the parents go fishing or work in the garden while the kid stays in one room to skill, eat and potty by itself until a parent, grandparent or teen is able to do stuff with the kid.

Often, I make the kids grow up quickly. Learning to talk is the only toddler skill that seems to be useful in their lives. As soon as they age up, they can walk and potty without acting like it should be in remedial skills training. Making the parents do the other skills is just a way to keep the parents/player busy with no discernible advantages for the kid or family. I think talking to, snuggling and playing with the kid to improve their relationships is a better use of the time and energy of the parents.

When the parents are pregnant, I start making them cook a bunch of group meals to keep in inventory. Even the pregnant mom is kept busy cooking, no matter what the game says about it needing bed rest. Usually, I just have them bbq the fish they have caught outside because the fish is much cheaper than groceries. Many of my families have their stoves in inventory until they have enough cooking skills to cook indoors. While the kids are young, the family never needs to cook, just grab a plate from inventory when they are hungry. And, because they always have gardens, they harvest the fruit and veggies needed to keep up their energy and gain skills. When the kid reaches child age, they can start drinking juice as well. Especially in the morning before school/work, so they can quickly be out the door for the bus/carpool instead of the time it takes to sit and eat, then clean up a meal.

I have gotten in the habit of turning the kitchen into a temporary nursery when there aren't a lot of kids. (There is never a lot of kids in my families.) That's where the family goes to grab juice, coffee, or a meal from inventory. While they are there, they can do something with the kid.
Scholar
#19 Old 22nd Dec 2010 at 3:41 AM
I've never used Smart Milk, or any aspiraton reward besides the Elixir (and I think I once tried the money tree). Seems too much like cheating for me. Usually my toddlers don't learn all their skills, but ocasionally they will if there's an extra adult around the house. Mostly my toddlers will just sit and skill all day. Also, I've given up feeding my toddlers. Don't even buy high chairs for them. I just give them bottles.
As you can see, I don't like the toddler stage.

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
- Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
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Scholar
#20 Old 22nd Dec 2010 at 9:17 AM
"Give food" is one of my favourite toddler animations too. But it is also funny to have hungry twins, throw a bottle milk on the floor and watch the fight between them. Talk about surviving insticts.
Scholar
#21 Old 22nd Dec 2010 at 11:12 AM
My toddlers are generally taught all 3 skills, plus the nursery rhyme, and skills through their activity toys. I usually have a stay-at-home parent for my toddlers, so generally they have the time and assistance in learning their skills. However, I don't use any cheats/mods/help (Max Motives, the toddler blanket, Smart Milk ect) to make it easier, so it can be quite challenging sometimes, and sometimes they don't quite get there. I like the aspiration and skill boost it gives them, as well as the relationship points they gain with their family members.
Mad Poster
#22 Old 22nd Dec 2010 at 12:26 PM
One time I had a toddler who, when served mush, dipped his whole hand in it, and flung the whole mess at his mother! I was rolling!

I have yet to see twin toddlers get into a food fight, though.
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Mad Poster
#23 Old 24th Dec 2010 at 3:05 AM
Oh, I've had one toddler Steal Bottle from another. But that was while playing Life Stories...which doesn't have high chairs for toddlers (it's a VERY stripped-down version of Sims 2).

It's also kind of funny when you have a tired toddler and you sit them down to eat...they throw a tantrum...until you select them and click on the food so they'll eat. I like for them to sleep on a full tummy--especially since I have the hack that makes them sleep all night (until 6 am like everyone else).
Inventor
#24 Old 26th Dec 2010 at 1:00 AM
I love toddlers. ^^ I make them follow the parent at home around everywhere, even make the parent take them outside to play in puddles or in the snow or watch them fish. :p
I usually turn aging off when they become toddlers because I don't think 4 days or however long it is, is long enough to enjoy that part of their life as well as teach them skills and such. My toddlers usually always learn all three skills as well as some logic points. I don't go mental though, just as long as they can go to the toilet by themselves, walk around (so cuute) and talk and such, It's fine.
I'm always sad when a toddler grows up. :p
Field Researcher
#25 Old 28th Dec 2010 at 5:52 AM
When I first played I was terrible parent (I am sure I am not the only noob who was) my toddlers were even lucky to learn one skill before childhood. Several toddlers later I am able to learn all 3 before than, Nursery Rhyme is optional for me, even without smart milk. Now I always use smart milk. Whenever they play with a skill building toy I let them play till one of their needs are orange.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people!
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