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Why is my toddler such a control freak?

(8 Posts)
Lilliput Mon 04-Jul-05 13:39:21

My dd is 2 and a half and obviously quite a handful at the moment but the thing that drives me mad is her control freak behaviour. She wants to do everything herself which is maddening and all day we get "no not like that like this" "no not there, there" "I don't want that cup I want this cup" etc etc You know the sort of thing. Is it just her age. Sometimes if I pick something up to give it to her she has to put it back in exactly the same spot nad then get it herself? What's that all about?

lilaclotus Mon 04-Jul-05 13:43:13

it's quite normal i think. i found it best to just be firm and stick with one cup, otherwise you can keep changing things all day long. as far as wanting to do everything herself, you can encourage that with letting her do more in terms of dressing and washing etc.

Iklboo Mon 04-Jul-05 13:49:32

I think she's trying to assert herself and show you how grown up she is. You could try things like "could you pass me the cup you want" and "where shall we put this". If you don't like where she's putting stuff, can you make a game of it or sy "I think it looks better over here because..." type thing?

NoPearls Mon 04-Jul-05 14:39:24

Sounds familiar... Partly I think it is just a phase, but could it be something she has inherited - are you or your DH/DP like this at all???????? I am pretty much a control freak as is my DD so when you get both of us together the sparks tend to fly. I am getting better (slightly) at loosening up these days, but we can bicker over things that really aren't important for hours.

Why they can't inherit something more useful like my ability to consume a box of chocolates in 5 minutes flat?

wishingchair Mon 04-Jul-05 15:45:56

Sounds just like my dd and she's 2.5. Sometimes if we've walked half way up the stairs holding hands and she remembers she wanted to do it on her own, we've had to go all the way back down, stairgate shut again so she can start again on her own. We also get a lot of "no, not like that, like this" and at the moment just "no, don't" - which I'm pulling her up on as it is just rude!

I try to let her feel independent by asking her to try to dress herself, get onto the toilet herself, wipe the table, pass me things, mix things up when cooking etc. Probably if I thought about it - the days when I make an effort to do stuff like that, I get less of the angry "no, I do it" comments.

Oh and I often just ask her which cup she wants - I'm not bothered which she has but she is often extremely bothered! Sometimes she has her drink out of a little cup from her tea set ... as long as she's drinking I'm happy and she's happy cos she's got what she wanted. I choose which cup I want (and I have my favourite) so why shouldn't I expect her to want to do the same?

So in short, I agree, it is frustrating. Everything takes 10x as long ... and on those days when everything I do is wrong I just have to bite your tongue and try to give her the responsibility - "OK then, you show me what to do" and try to tune out the lecture I'll get ... "mummy you put it in that box but it should go in this box, not that box, you shouldn't put it in that box, no, it goes in this box" etc etc etc.

spidermama Mon 04-Jul-05 15:52:27

It's perfectly normal and healthy. She wants to demonstrate a bit more independence. Things which seem utterly pointless to you are very important to her.

Lilliput Mon 04-Jul-05 20:12:28

I feel that it is more than asserting her independence it's more a battle of wills. If I said black she would say white. Maybe I have got locked into a pattern of behaviour myself which is making her like this, almost argumentative just for attention or boredom. Tonight I really felt like slapping her (I didn't and never would) and then felt absolutely awful for having those feelings. I have a 4 and a half month old ds and this control and battling is with dd is exhausting me.

Lizita Mon 04-Jul-05 20:54:12

Yeah she's just trying to gain some control over her life. If you think about it, toddlers have never had any real control over their lives, what they do, what they eat, when they go to bed, etc etc, so she's just trying to assert herself and gain some control. What wishingchair said about the days when she makes an effort to give her dd some control being easier makes sense. Btw i have no real experience yet of this, my dd isn't yet 2!

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