Toddler Trump

Commentators often miss the point with this president, treating him as an adult, when he is really just toddler Trump.

Commentators and politicians alike have spent the last three years trying to predict and analyze the words and actions of one Donald Trump. Much electronic ink has been spilled in what has ultimately been a fruitless effort.

toddler Trump
“Toddler Trump” writ large.

As I see it, Trump’s critics are approaching this problem mistakenly. Their underlying assumption is that the president is a rational adult who will eventually see reason and alter his behavior to conform to societal norms.

A more fruitful approach would be to accept Donald Trump for what he is: a spoiled unruly toddler. Check out his behavior and you’ll see that the current occupant of the White House is essentially a tiresome two-year-old and should be treated as such.

All of us have been toddlers at one time and many of us have had to suffer through our children’s “terrible twos.” So it stands to reason that pundits, politicians and partners should employ the same tactics they used in the past to deal with young children.

The art of distraction

When Trump has insulted someone for the tenth time or has lied over and over again, it would be helpful if his handlers distracted him. Whether it’s a shiny object, a game of golf or a few minutes of praise, hopefully those closest to him have lots of ways to divert his attention elsewhere.

Think like a toddler

Toddlers often have difficulty understanding why they have to perform a specific task or behave a certain way. That’s when it’s helpful to put yourself in his booties and see the world from his perspective. Help him to understand why he can’t do anything he wants or why he has to follow the rule of law.

Avoid stressful situations

Over time, you get to know what triggers will set off a toddler and possibly result in a full-blown tantrum. That’s why it’s advisable to avoid certain situations. For example, in the case of Mr. Trump, it might be wise to unplug his TV in the morning or hide his phone at night. The fewer opportunities he has to tweet or watch Fox & Friends, the easier it will be for everybody.

Try a timeout

Sometimes a toddler becomes so upset and over-stimulated that he simply won’t listen to reason at all. In such cases, it’s often a good idea to give him a timeout. But don’t couch it in terms of a punishment but instead use it as an opportunity for the President to have some quiet time free from too much social media or TV viewing. You can always try offering a book as a distraction but most toddlers aren’t that interested in reading.

Relax and stay calm

I’m sure most of you have been in that situation where a toddler is acting out and you tend to lose it and overreact. That’s the last thing you want to do since he’ll simply act up even more. Sometimes it’s best just to walk away and not buy into his antics. If he gets no reaction or attention, oftentimes he’ll just cry himself to sleep.

Just give in

You don’t want to do this too often but sometimes it’s just easier all around to let your two-year-old have his way especially when it’s a fairly trivial matter. For example, if he wants to say that his Inauguration crowd or State of the Union address audience or tax cut was the biggest ever, it may not be worth the trouble to question it. Let him pretend and don’t rile him by presenting him with facts. That way you’ll be able to save your energy for another day.

David Martin
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