Why is my toddler being so challenging?(14 Posts)
Everything is a fight. Every single thing.
For example, I've just tried putting her nappy on and she wouldn't let me for 10 min, she just kept wiggling around. I lost my cool and really got angry. This is not me ... why is she doing this? She is 2 years old.
Because she is 2. Unfortunately, it's just what 2 year olds do. She may be better when she is 3. But then again, she may not. By 4 she'll probably be OK again.
Because she's two years old! She's starting to develop a sense of self, to assert her independence. As a parent your job is to give her a calm consistent framework to do this in. Not easy, I know, under such provocation but she will learn from your example.
Because she is 2. She is seeking more independence from you. She struggles to cope with her emotions. This too shall pass.
Thanks, it's reassuring to here it is normal.
Please can you tell me what is the best way to deal with it? I don't want to ignore her rude and aggravating behaviour. How should I deal with it?
Honestly, it's not rude or (deliberately) aggravating, it's just what they do! Save your time outs or whatever for real naughtiness.
Being a parent is fucking hard work.
Read Divas and Dictators.
Yup, standard 2 year old behaviour.
Things I find help with my 2 year old:
1 - see it from their point of view. Why should they do what you want? Make whatever it is you want them to do attractive, rather than simply expecting them to do as you say. So for example, "if you lie still while I change your nappy I will have time to read you a story, if you don't I won't" (this possibly only works at 2.5 upwards). Or make it a game "where does the new nappy go? is it on your head? no, silly mummy!" etc.
2 - give them multiple advance warnings. in 5 minutes it is tea time. You can build one more tower then it's tea time. I will count to 10 and then you need to come to the kitchen for tea.
3 - Get them enough sleep and food, whatever it takes. Things are 10x harder if tired or hungry. Also cut more slack if they are ill.
4 - Don't sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles and see if some can be avoided. For example we found it a battle to get dd upstairs to get dressed in the mornings. now we bring down her clothes and dress her downstairs.
It is still a constant battle/negotiation. Every day.
I just take something away. They don't even have to be holding it, or wanting it.
I say 'ds, bye bye book/shoe/cup/pen' and when he screams 'want pen', I start to give it to him but only let go fully when nappy is on or he's done what I need him to do, withdrawing it the less he cooperates and moving it closer the more he does.
They are so controlling at that age that it rarely has to be anything they actually want. Just by telling them that you are removing it from them seems to get them suddenly desperate for it .
Buggers. Thats what they are. In between the ages of 1 - 3yrs they are just buggers. But we love them and must try to find humour in them challenging us because there will be a day when they will grunt to acknowledge us (teens) instead of engage with us.
Ooo I'm feeling all wise and all knowing this evening. Must be the Pimms.
It sounds counterintuitive, but giving your DD more control might help. They are so desperate to be independent - fighting you is just a way to do that, and if you can give her more ways to be independent then she'll fight you less.
Things I find help are:
1. When I'm thinking 'I don't want you to do this', I try to turn it into 'why not?'. Eg if she wants to go upstairs, play with water, help me cut veg, make the tea - I try to find a way to make it safe and sometimes change my expectations for what we'll do for the next hour or so
2. Leave lots of time. Letting them do stuff will take longer than doing it yourself. But probably still less time than doing it yourself then fighting over the next 5 things..
3. Give choices where you are happy with both outcomes. 'shall I change you on the floor or on the bed?', 'do you want to walk upstairs or shall I carry you? ' (said very innocently, but the implicit threat to her independence means she runs upstairs - or if she asks to be carried, I know she's really tired or needs a cuddle)
4.Stand up nappy changes can be good - I think sometimes they have too much pent up energy to lie down. Normal nappies are a bit tricky to do standing up, maybe try with pull-ups?
5. Even now when she is so big, make the nappy change playful and a nice time to reconnect: a tickle and a giggle, or beeping noses, and always give a kiss and a hug at the end.
And all the things minipie said too!
Sleep and food especially - it often isn't obvious (eg they don't say they're hungry), but behaviour really deteriorates.
Oh yes yes to giving harmless choices and to leaving lots of time. Basically always leave enough time to deal with a fight over something, then if there is no fight it's a bonus and you can read a story or whatever as a reward 'because you were so helpful'. I realise this sounds depressing...
Choices worked for me until recently when she said ' I don't want either mummy "
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