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DS 2.5 - not responding to strategies for dealing with his behaviour - help!(6 Posts)
My 2.5 year old is generally a pretty good, happy child. However if he doesn't want to do certain things - change nappy, go for dinner, get ready for the day, get ready for a bath - he just refuses to do it. We've tried asking, reasoning with him, explaining why these things are important, a 1-2-3 countdown, consequences like taking toys away, shouting to shock him into it and also making him do things (ie physically making him through force - not hurting him though). Nothing seems to work. Is it just his age? Will he grow out of it? What other strategies could we try? Might a reward chart work or is he too young?
He's generally pretty good and very polite (always says please and thank you etc). Very loving.
Appreciate any help and ideas!
Oh dear, I hear you loud and clearly. My DS is 2 years 2 months and just the same nightmare.
What I do depends on how much time I have. Sometimes, I just sit it out. For example, a few days ago he sat naked on the changing table because he refused a nappy / clothes. I just left him there crying whilst I went to the loo, brushed my teeth, hassled older brother to get dressed. After 15 minutes of crying he was lying down on the changing table waiting to get dressed. Won that one :-)!
Our biggest problem at the moment is winter coats. He has an autumn coat which he loves, and he just refuses to put a winter coat on - unless his key worker at nursery does it. This morning, I retired the autumn coat - it'll be packed away for the winter now. Result: we did the school drop off for older brother with just a sweater on. Tough.... he'll just have to learn!
And yes, often we do force him to do stuff :-)!
Like mine, yours also seems to have hit the terrible twos hard....
Dodi thanks so much for your reply. Without wishing this on anyone else, it's helpful to know we're not the only ones dealing with it!! Most of my friends have older kids so tough to compare behaviour.
It is funny how they get certain things stuck in their little heads (re winter coat)!
You are definitely not the only one! I find it very helpful to remember Penelope Leach's line that a toddler won't do anything because you want them to, they'll do it because they want to. And that also reminds me that it's not just my DD!
I had a whole thread a while ago about DD refusing to get ready for bed, which I had a tough time with cos my dad had just died and I wasn't feeling that resilient!
When I'm feeling in fully sound mind, a few of the things I do are
- some of the techniques from 'how to talk so little kids will listen'
- natural consequences - 'oh what a shame you won't get dressed, that means we can't go to the park', (but then don't do anything fun at home either. Literally just sit there being bored)
- 'thinking time' - if she's really digging her heels in, I say, 'I'm going to give you some time to think about it'. That's usually coupled with the natural consequence and for some reason, it seems to allow her to come back with her dignity intact. Then she'll invariably be hilarious and act like getting dressed (or whatever) was all her idea.
- Just stop asking for a minute, change of scene, come back and act like nothing's happened, sometimes with something to distract her, and then start again. Weirdly works.
Does that help a bit? You are not alone!
I found it helpful to rejig my own internal book-keeping. So if dc stopped doing something they shouldn't because I physically lifted them away, that was a win. If they had a bath because I put them in the bath, that was a win. If I changed their nappy (whether they cooperated or not) that was a win. Saved a lot of angst and eventually they got the message that there isn't much point in being disobedient because mummy gets her way anyway. It may have taken a few years with dd (who was the stubborn one) but as I was there to keep her out of trouble it didn't really matter much.
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