Did I handle this situation with my toddler correctly?(53 Posts)
This is more of a 'am I right or is my Mum'.
I'm really struggling with my 2 and a half year-old at the moment. She is fighting me over everything - getting up for nursery, brushing teeth, getting dressed, getting shoes on, sitting at the table to eat etc. She's a lovely little girl, as long as she can do what she wants all the time. Obviously that's not on so I am having to battle with her to get through every day. I tend to start with making things into a game, if that doesn't work I work through distraction, incentives, negotiation and then resort to telling off and naughty step.
The other day I picked her up from nursery and she was happy. She put her little nursery backpack on and walked down to the car with me chatting happily. When I was about to put her in the car she tried to run off but I held her hand and took her back to the car. She started kicking and screaming. I tried to take off her backpack so I could put her in the car and she got really worked up, threw herself to the floor and struggled to keep it on. I tried explaining that we needed to take it off to put her in the car but there is no reasoning with a 2 year-old in the middle of the tantrum. As we were in a car park and it was dangerous for her to be thrashing around on the floor and trying to run away I took her back in to the nursery building, sat her on the bottom step and gave her a minute to calm down. Then I knelt down in front of her and explained that she could hold her backpack and put it back on when we get home but she had to take it off to go in her car seat. She started screaming and crying again. I tried to take it off myself and it made her more distressed so I tried talking to her about the fun things we could do if we went home. She just carried on crying. Then one of the nursery staff saw I was struggling and offered my daughter a sticker if she took her backpack off, at which point DD snapped out her tantrum, took a sticker off the lady and said sorry to me. I felt pretty mortified that I needed someone else to help me get control of my child.
I relayed this story to my Mum who said that as I'm bigger and stronger than my DD I should have forcibly removed the backpack and forced her into the car. She also said that by being given a sticker she was rewarded by her bad behaviour. So who is right? Should I have been more physically forceful? I don't really feel comfortable using my strength against her. She is a big, strong girl and I would have had to struggle with her which I know would have made her more distressed and I think it would have really struggled to have forced her into her car seat against her will
What do you think?
Also, if you have any tips for dealing with a toddler who says no to everything I want her to do it would be appreciated.
I've spent years reasoning and compromising and agonising about being draconian .... A psychitrist friend reassured me that children need yo know you are in charge and that faced with pushing boundaries you will say no without endless explanation. With my powerful 2.5 year old and older sibling this has sometimes meant firemen's lifts and forcible strapping and towelwrapped toothbrushing.
I gave up forcing coats on her after one attempt in inter drew a small crowd.
My approach is softly first, compromise etc and if that fails in the time i have, it's authoritarian!
I sympathise though. My youngest is unbelievably strong illed and can run faster than me and has a kick like a mule
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