Feels like I say no all the time....(5 Posts)
....please help. My DS is 2 and relatively strong willed and active and it feels like I say no to him all the time. He's generally fine at home but when we're out and about at the soft play, playgroups etc he gets really ratty if he has to share or doesn't want to do what I'm asking. We don't ever get this feedback from nursery and they say he's a dream there. I feel like I'm failing and that everyone is looking at me when we're out. How can I discipline him without starting every sentence with 'no' or making him even more angry with me? Thanks.
DS was the same. Iron willed (still is) I used techniques from positive Parenting (similar to the ones in How To Talk So Kids Will Listen but aimed at younger children. They seem very weird and don't sound like they'll work but they do.
the main thing is to agree with them without giving in. So if you want them to do something (like putting shoes on to leave soft play) and they say no, you reply: 'You really don't want those shoes on do you? bet you'd like to be barefoot all day wouldn't you?' They are so shocked as there is nothing for them to fight against. then you say something like: So would I. Not wearing shoes is great. But we don't want to get cold feet walking outside, so we'd better get shoes on. Do you want to put them on here or at the door?
So you give them a choice which has to be win-win for you. If they still say 'No shoes!' You still agree with them not wanting shoes without ever saying they don't have to put them on.
It's very wordy and it feels very false but it saved hours of battles of wills and ended up being second nature to me. You might sound mad but you get to feel smug when your DC overnight becomes the one who never ever has a meltdown.
DancingDuck has it right. Saying no just doesn't work, at least with my DS. I've read How To Talk and also Happiest Toddler On The Block and the repeated message is to acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge their feelings first, several times if necessary, then follow with a message if your own. I'm having mixed success at the moment with this technique and it takes practise but it's an infinite improvement on what I was doing before. I am realising that it is so important to show empathy to little ones before you try anything else.
Really recommend those books because they have lots of techniques and ideas for different approaches eg trying a goofy approach - today I got out of one of this stalemate situations by telling him that we were going to ask mummy's feet what they wanted to do and then ask DS's nose what it thought - he was laughing and distracted and it really helped defuse the situation.
Thanks for the tips. I've ordered those books from Amazon so fingers crossed it helps.
It will! Hang in there ... I know how frustrating this can be but if you have the desire to try new things you're halfway there!
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