2yr old eating/control/power struggles - needing some pointers! !

(10 Posts)
SpanishFly Mon 18-Feb-13 08:57:52

My 26mo ds is loving playing control games, eg won't listen to the word no att all.But any time we ask him to di something he shouts NO at us. Even when I try to make it a game or whatever. As of today I'm going to try not saying it at all, and rather distract him or find a way to avoid any sort of power struggle. The main issue we have, though, is at the dinner table. For the past few months he has refused point blank to sit in a high chair to eat, so he kneels on a dining chair. This is fine mainly, except if dinner is something he's decided he doesn't want to eat. Then he just says "all done" and pushes his plate away then says he wants to go and play. So my question is, do we just allow him to leave the table to go and play? If he's hungry in 20 mins do we offer something else or put the same food back in front of him? Or shouldn't he be given anything else til the next "proper" snack/mealtime? Or do we simply leave his food out, and he'll come back to it if he's hungry? I'm not so keen on the last option cos it means he'll just pick and choose when he eats.He eats dinner with his brother each evening. Because of the shifts I work, dh and I can't have a sit-down meal til 8pm.We've been praising ds1 when he eats his dinner to show ds2 that just eating will get praise (ie we're not forcing him to clear his plate if he's not hungry). Any suggestions would be great - thank you!

SpanishFly Mon 18-Feb-13 08:58:42

This seems to hv also appeared as an "unknown" thread confused

Hi - have you tried one of those booster seats? You an get them in Argos, and not too expensive:

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Browse/ID72/33021710/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7CNursery%7C33005732/c_2/2%7C33005732%7CFeeding%7C33006591/c_3/3%7Ccat_33006591%7CHighchairs+and+booster+seats%7C33009416/c_4/4%7Ccat_33009416%7CBooster+seats%7C33021710.htm

Maybe he just needs to feel a bit more like a bigger boy (plus yuo can still strap him in!).

See if that as novelty works maybe, and then tackle the other issue later (if it still is an issue). xx

PS - I remember my DS really kicking against the high-chair at the same age, and this booster seat really helped! Good luck.

SpanishFly Mon 18-Feb-13 12:58:49

Yep we have one of them too but he's not impressed at being strapped into anything now, so causes another struggle.
We've had a great morning so far - all food was eaten at the table. He gave up on his cheese and crackers but came back to try again five minutes later. Diverting him from potential conflict etc, and me not rising to anything really made a huge difference. Hopefully it'll continue after his nap!

Oh no! But that's great you've had a better morning, sounds like what you're doing is having a brilliant result.

When my 2.5 DS has an eating day like yours I do the same as you, don't stress it too much, remind myself that no child ever starved themsleves to death, and that maybe he's just not hungry/is still teething a bit.

Keep up the good work!

cyberfairy Mon 18-Feb-13 15:48:59

I have the same problem as you and utterly sick of him saying 'no' to every single question. With the booster seat, I have found that asking him to get in and click himself in works as he is delighted by clips and buckles.
With the dinner thing, when he refuses everything without even trying, he is just given a oatcake and fruit as an alternative. He tends to eat more the next day to make up for it but still won't touch salad or most pulses and veg. Advocado has been a godsend...

cyberfairy Mon 18-Feb-13 15:49:48

I have the same problem as you and utterly sick of him saying 'no' to every single question. With the booster seat, I have found that asking him to get in and click himself in works as he is delighted by clips and buckles.
With the dinner thing, when he refuses everything without even trying, he is just given a oatcake and fruit as an alternative. He tends to eat more the next day to make up for it but still won't touch salad or most pulses and veg. Advocado has been a godsend...

SpanishFly Mon 18-Feb-13 21:14:20

Well, what a positive day! I banned me saying no, for starters. TV was barely on all day (rare in this house) and all food was at the table, no snacks while sitting playing etc.
Whenever he shouted NO at me, I completely blanked him and turned my back on him. I was astounded as to how quickly he stopped.
He wouldn't stay out of the kitchen when I was making dinner so I put a variety of fruit in a basket and sat him beside it on the floor, asking him to find me an apple, then an orange, etc etc. No negativity at all, just distractions and diverting him elsewhere when he was starting to wind me up. I was close to cracking a few times but didn't, thankfully. ...
Now to get dh to start doing the same.

Ha! Well done! It's amazing how quickly the whole positive rambling thing works (mostly), and seems to deflect their negative moods, but it's still tough some days, when nothing seems to work. Those days I just take the easy options and let him watch telly a bit longer.

No matter how much I tried to humour my DS this morn, he still decided to pull off his dirty nappy and run aorund the bedroom...poo flying...I had to try very, very hard to not shout and instead just got him in an arm lock and wiped him clean, after which he had a big shouty tantrum (fists beating the floor and all) on the landing.

Calm, calm, and walk away....xxx

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