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for not expecting a 2yo to call my bluff

(58 Posts)
StealthPolarBear Sun 17-Jun-12 11:04:31

I asked dd to come upstairs and get dressed
She asked why?
Because we're going to <aunt and uncles who she knows well and loves seeing>
But I don't want to
Ok shall we just go and leave you here? (usually is followed by a frenzy of dressing and cries of NO NO
Ok I just stay here
<big smile...goes off to play with toys>
I know they say don't threaten something you can't follow through, but really! Have I been outsmarted by a toddler?

StealthPolarBear Sun 24-Jun-12 11:43:04

Well you'll all be pleased to know we got her clothes on without too much hassle that time I just had to pin her down while DH forced them on her and DS held her feet
This morning she whipped her nightie off - I said "Why are you taking your nightie off?"
"Because it's MORNING" <eye roll>
"Are you going to put some clothes on then?"
I don't recall exactly what her reply was, but it was the 2yo equivalent of "What, are you STUPID?" (before anyone has a go, she was not cheeky). 3 hours later, she is still rnning around naked. She wants to go and play in the front garden soon, so I am planning to get clothes on her before then grin

Gauchita Sun 24-Jun-12 09:25:03

grin DD is the same, Stealth. These days there's nothing she can't comment on or give a better answer to than me <sigh>

What I didn't know was that with the age of 3 came almost constant chatting. DH spent 5 hours on his own on Friday with her; when I met them again he looked at me and said he felt dizzy grin

babybythesea Sun 24-Jun-12 09:02:40

I think my dd may have wandered off to yours for a bit. Can you keep her there for a while longer?
I once spent 20 minutes on a dog walk, having done the whole "I'm off then, see you later" hiding behind a hedge listening to the (then) 2 yo say "Oh dear. Mummy's just left me. I just all alone, all by my own. Never mind. I just staying here. Mummy's just gone and I alone now. Never mind. I ok." I kept thinking she'd give in and come running to find me but not a bit of it. Now, I do it in a slightly different way (Right, I'm off to get that cake we were going to have. If you don't want any you can stay here and I'll see you later when I've eaten mine all up) but the threat of being left alone fails miserably so I don't bother.

She's now a 3yo who says "You can just stop talking now Mummy. I don't want to listen any more" when I am telling her off. And "Oh dear Mummy, you're making words up again and I can't understand you" - again in the middle of a telling off.
I go for the approach of avoiding battles if I can (by not having too many rules) but absolutely sticking to the rules we do have, and (after the dog walk) never ever threatening things I can't carry through. She's a stubborn little madam with a will of iron so I pick my battles - she's learning that i do always win but it's a slow process!

nosleepwithworry Sun 24-Jun-12 08:33:29

Loving this thread, really making me smile
I LOVE little people !

enimmead Sun 24-Jun-12 08:22:27

She's doing that at 2 smile

Just wait till she's 6. My 6 yr old can negotiate for England and can see through any cracks in an argument discussion about bedtime / TV time / going out / food in an instant.

Then he needs reminding who's in charge. But he is a very good negotiator.

pixwix Sun 24-Jun-12 00:56:19

What Cory said.

When mine were toddlers, there were times to humour, times to josh, times to negotiate a wee bit - but at the end of the day, there were times to pull rank, and say - I am mummy, and this is how it goes.. I didn't always get it right.. sometimes I negotiated a bit too long, sometimes I was too heavy handed- but at the end of the day when I told them what was going to happen - in no uncertain tones - they went along with it without further protest. Mostly.

I remember when ds1 was 3, when I announced it was time for bed, he was perplexed, and told me it wasn't bedtime cos it was still light outside - we had a discussion on what the clock said, the effects of british summer time on sunlight, and his need for sleep etc. He digested this for a few seconds, sensed he was fighting a losing logical battle - and then this small voice said - I honestly swear to God - he said ...

" Yes, well - it's all very academic isn't it, cos I'm not going to bed yet!"

Inside I was just dying with laughter grin

I said "Well, I'm your mummy - I've told you why it's time for bed, and now you are going! whether it's academic or not! Now - up the stairs!"


There were times for discussion, and times when what I said went..

He's nearly 15 now - he's a lovely young man, respectful, bright, mature, easygoing, humorous etc, and I always try to listen to what he says, and take on board where he's coming from, and try to negotiate - but although I have to do it rarely, I still occasionally have to pull rank, when I say " I know we've discussed this, but I'm not happy about it, and this is what's happening.... "

OP - you made me laugh - cos am sure I've had my bluff called before now grin

As a parent, I've spent so much time thinking on my feet...

festivalwidow Sat 23-Jun-12 23:56:30

Stealth, you have my child!
My response to "OK, I stay here then" is a "Pah! Nice try smallfest, sadly not the way the world works" and give her a choice between wearing something she clearly hates or something she likes better. There is a cardigan we both loathe that has been kept specifically for the purpose grin

JamieandTheOlympicTorch Fri 22-Jun-12 23:31:15

I agree cory

CrystalsAreCool Thu 21-Jun-12 12:46:15

You make a good point cory, I think you're right.
Part of my confidence though, and dd's understanding, was that I always followed my threats through, never promised anything that I couldn't guarantee, never gave in to a 'no', etc etc, so she initially learnt that way that what I say goes. Therefore when I had to just be strict & confident as you say, it was easy because she knew there was no point in arguing, she rarely tantrummed over a 'no' to something, and 1-2-3 really was magic. Then when she got to coming up for 4 i was able to start teaching her (and myself! wink) about compromise - i could start bending the rules a bit and letting her call some of the shots, etc -without undermining my own authority, because she still knew that what i said goes.

She's nearly 9 now, we have a very cooperative & friendly relationship, I rarely have to tell her off or threaten punishments or offer rewards. I am waiting with bated breath for teens though, i suspect she is going to be a very stubborn, stroppy teen!

cory Wed 20-Jun-12 13:49:18

Lapis, I think the essence of good parenting is confident parenting. To me, that means you can afford to sometimes treat things lightly or to cut a bit of slack, sometimes even to let them win an argument, because you know and they know that at the end of the day you do have the authority to make them behave. It's like a confident teacher with an excellent discipline record can afford to be far more relaxed in front of a class than a nervous and inexperienced teacher.

Sometimes I have watched friends of mine watching their children like hawks for signs of rebelliousness and doling out punishments right, left and centre, and I have reflected that the message they are really sending out is that they are afraid of losing the upper hand- so they are putting that idea into the child's head as a distinct possibility. Which isn't something I'd care to do.

I had a very similar toddler: dd was never taken in by anything and was always questioning my decision and my knowledge. But eventually she got used to the idea that there wasn't any point because she couldn't shake me or unsettle me. She is a very compliant teen, really remarkably open to the idea that nearly 50 years of life experience might just be an advantage compared to 15.

Ds was a sweet and easily manipulated toddler. He is quite a difficult pre-teen, but he only really challenges his dad, not me, because dad gets ratty. Very quickly.

missnevermind Wed 20-Jun-12 13:31:40

DS(3) Didnt want to go to Mums and tots last week, so like you do, I said me and the baby would go then.

Same here he just waved us off, I too believe that you dont say something you wont carry through.
So I put the front door on the latch and made a big show of getting the pram out of the door, shouting to DS that he wasnt allowed to move or touch anything untill we got back from playing - He said OK Mum hmm.

So i stood on the doorstep for a few mins and then opened the door and shouted through that I had forgotten the babies blanket. DS said Wait for me mummy I will come too!

CrystalsAreCool Wed 20-Jun-12 13:00:55

It's funny, since the thread was posted, me & dd (who is nearly 9) passed a toddler and a mum in the street saying "I'm going now bye" and walking off cos her toddler was refusing to budge , dd said "You used to do that to me didn't you!" She remembered! shock. I chuckled and said "Yeah, it was the only way i could get you to come!" grin

Softlysoftly Sun 17-Jun-12 16:57:04

I always joke and negotiate with DD1 (2.8) and she has so far avoided the "terrible two's" tantrums by having choices, doesn't mean when push comes to shove mummys way doesn't come first lighten up!

I can however never shout now sad I had a shouty mummy moment in the car (sleep deprivation, empty fuel gauge, crying DD2 3wks), we got home, DD1 in tears, she hid under kitchen table then came storming through, hands on hips and says:

"mummy, you said fuckiks sake to the car, now say sorry and don't never ever shout at us again OK!?"

and I did I'm now her bitch

mumeeee Sun 17-Jun-12 16:40:14

LapisBlue. I sometimes did things like stealth and other posters have said with my DDs when they were little, They didn't grow up into brats and if it was really important that they did as they were told that instant I would insis,but you have to have humour in parenting aswell as jusy insisting you are obeyed. My DDs are now all in thier 20s and I polite mature adults.

Lastofthepodpeople Sun 17-Jun-12 12:27:17

Hmm, I tried this with DS and he got so upset, it took almost half an hour to calm him down. And he was extra clingy for ages after that. Never did it again.

BegoniaBigtoes Sun 17-Jun-12 12:23:35

My 2yo DD did this the other day on the toy bus outside the supermarket. Very stupid of me to even try it, in retrospect.

Me: Come on DD come on, going shopping!
DD: I playing! I on bus!
Me: Come on come on blah blah etc.
DD: No!
Me: Do you want me to leave you here then? Bye DD! Bye!
DD: Bye mummy! Bye! See you later!
Me: <hovers pathetically nearby>
DD: Go WAY mummy! Go shopping!

Bystanders: hmm

youarekidding Sun 17-Jun-12 12:21:18

Bless her Stealth I love it when they call your bluff. I actually see it as a positive thing because it makes me evaluate my parenting if DS does it. Not in a OMG where have I gone wrong way but usually in a 'fuck, I really need to stop theatening things he knows won't happen way'

Although at 2yo DS refused to get dressed so he went out in his pushchair in his vest and pants. It was 10am and the puddles were still frozen over. He never refused to get dressed again. grin

<disclaimer I had clothes in my bag so when he turned blue! got cold.>

MissTapestry Sun 17-Jun-12 12:17:14

Oh my god, MN would be so booooring if nobody could ever be light hearted. Fgs, I might have to join the real world today.

Although that could be a danger as obviously mini stealth is out there lurking and waiting to cause trouble just because her mother had a laugh this morning hmm

TheProvincialLady Sun 17-Jun-12 12:13:49

If you spend all your energy making your toddler do things THIS INSTANT and having no sense of humour, you are far more likely to have a resentful child later on and nowhere to go with your threats/demands. There is a middle way between letting your child do what they like and always insisting they do what you say that very second. And in my experience, it does not lead to screaming brats in cafes. A bit of humour and mutual respect is just plain human decency. I experienced Victorian parenting in all its glory and it's nothing to be proud of.

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Sun 17-Jun-12 12:12:14

ds had a tantrum because he could not wear tights to school under his trousers in a heat wave. he ended up going to the car in pants and tshirt only with the rest of his clothes in a bag. dressed in the car with no problem once we got to dd's school.

Mrsjay Sun 17-Jun-12 12:07:38

oh Lapis she was having a bit of fun with her toddler and posted about it , jeez this isnt setting her DD up to be a brat hmm

LapisBlue Sun 17-Jun-12 12:06:05

the so-called "rules", although why you would want to call them that is odd - your choice I guess - are there to prevent you storing up trouble when your child becomes REALLY stroppy and drives you to drink.

It also means that other adults don't have to put up with screaming brats in cafes. I didn't mean to offend you, however the second poster did NOT miss the point of your thread from where I'm sitting.

StealthPolarBear Sun 17-Jun-12 12:02:05

Well I think she missed he point of the threAD but wasn't quite so scathing. Why does everything have to be done acccorkng to the rules, I was having a bit of fun, no call for world gone mad comments really

Morloth Sun 17-Jun-12 12:00:13

Both my kids have just waved and said bye! If I tried the whole pretend to leave thing.

What got easiest compliance from DS1 was a 5 minutes heads up and for DS2 he likes to say good bye to stuff.

Obviously sometimes they just have to come immediately, but hey if you can come to a mutually agreeable solution then why not?

StealthPolarBear Sun 17-Jun-12 12:00:12

Lol at that's illegal mummy and bikerunski setting off land mines under her reluctant toddler

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