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Toddler Dictator - How do I manage her behaviour?

(17 Posts)
Dildals Tue 27-Oct-15 07:56:27

My 2 yo has turned in to a mini dictator! Everything is an order 'water mummy' 'look toys mummy' 'sit down mummy', said in this whiny voice. If I don't meet her demands immediately then she starts crying, lies down on the floor, you know the deal.

It's driving me mad. Any amount of explaining is futile. I have tried leaving her to it or getting down to her level to explain that I will come look at the toys after I had breakfast or something like that. I have tried distraction, which is moderately successful. Even bribery doesn't work, she doesn't understand the concept.

Any tips on how to make her a bit more, well, likeable?!? At this rate I am going to tell her to STFU at one point.

She has an 8 wk old brother which I understands rocks her world, but still….

Pixi2 Tue 27-Oct-15 08:14:31

You repeat her phrase back to her. So 'water mummy' becomes 'water please mummy' and refuse to do it until she adds please.
Once you've got that far then 'water please mummy' becomes 'could I have a drink of water please mummy' as her language develops further down the line.
Ignore the tantrums.
Also, pick your battles. So 'play mummy' can be 'if you help me unload the washing machine/put the washer on we can play after'. When washing the pots include her with a tea towel and giver her a plastic cup to dry (yes it will take longer and it's annoying having a continual shadow but dd and I have the best relationship as I included her in chores).

Dildals Tue 27-Oct-15 08:38:27

I tried the 'if … then' but the concept of 'later' or 'after' seems to be completely lost on her. It needs to be NOW! :-) But I will persist … gah! Toddlers … annoying creatures.

KittyandSqueal Tue 27-Oct-15 08:42:34

I always insisted on a please or thank you first. My dd1 is growing up an only so no siblings to have rocked the boat which makes it trickier for you.

When she was 2 my answer was 'in a min, I'm having my coffee' which was usually met with more whinging so after that it was a simple no!

At 3yo she is still very bossy and dictator like but it's always met with a short shrift. If she asks nicely first time I usually will do what she's requesting if I can with a 'wow you asked nicely of course I'd love to play blocks with you' etc.

It's hard when they're so young though, it'll get easier when they start getting more language and understanding a concept of later

No real advice just sympathy, DS is known as Pol Pot in our house. He's getting better as he gets older and it's just taken a good 18 months of constant reminders about asking nicely and sharing. We still have to rind him to use his 'magic words' but he does at least now understand what we're asking. He's 3.8 now btw.

ShadyMyLady Tue 27-Oct-15 09:12:25

My 2yo DS is a bit like this, if wants something he will half cry/half whinge and stamp his feet, 'want drink' or whatever it is he wants. Every single time I just say to him 'please can I have a drink mummy?' and when he repeats it back I praise him and get him a drink.

It's relentless and hard work, but it pays off eventually I hope.

Dildals Tue 27-Oct-15 10:45:16

I should have been a bit clearer, I can get her to say please, it's the tantrum that follows if demands are not met immediately that gets me!

SweetAdeline Tue 27-Oct-15 10:48:22

She has no concept of time and hears "later" as "no".
I've got no advice but they do grow out of it.

KatyN Tue 27-Oct-15 12:51:51

The tantrum would get ignored in out house. Maybe I might pull a face that shows I'm not impressed. I would NOT fulfil the demand until the tantrum had finished.
I'm afraid it doesn't go away either! My son is 3.11 and we are trying to teach him to not interrupt when someone else is talking. There is a lot of pretend whining which is really annoying. I reckon we will have cracked it by Christmas!!

The only exception is if he's tired or hungry. Then we let him get away with a bit more.

Good luck k

Dildals Tue 27-Oct-15 13:20:24

Now that she's turned in to a toddler I have to actually start parenting! It's hard! Previously I have been in the 'attachment' parenting camp and thought that I need to help a toddler regulating their emotions when they tantrum, i.e. getting down to their level, doing the 'I understand you are upset about xyz', but tbh she only gets more upset if I do that and it makes not one iota of difference, so I have been ignoring the tantrum too, also because I simply don't want to reward tantrums as a way of voicing what you want.

I do play it by ear a little bit though - some tantrums have been about the new brother and we did have a chat then about how mummy and daddy still love her etc, and she calmed down. So I guess there is no one size fits all response.

LikeSilver Tue 27-Oct-15 14:00:43

I find saying 'later' is a trigger in itself as she has no idea when whatever it is will actually happen and so it does sound like no. I try to say 'I will read you a story/play with X/whatever once I have finished my tea/made lunch/whatever', so she know whatever it is will happen at a concrete point. She's 3.5 now and she can wait for a little while although had an almighty meltdown just this morning grin

BotBotticelli Tue 27-Oct-15 14:15:44

Sympathies OP, I have a very demanding dictatorial 2.11yo and I know it can be very draining!

One thing that's worked for us recently (not sure if your Lo might be a bit tough to get it though?) is I bought a cheap wind up kitchen timer off Amazon- one that's shaped like an egg and when the time is up a bell rings.

So now I say to DS I will play cars with you in 10 mins once I have had my tea/done the laundry or whatever. And then when the bells rings after 10 mins I stop what I am doing and say "right! Time to play with cars". So it gives him the idea that my day is divided up into different time slots, only some of which are for playing his interminable fucking boring games of cars.

It also works quite well in reverse: once he has got me embroiled in playing something I always say "I can play for 20 mins and then when the bell rings it's time to wash the dishes/make dinner/have a sit down"...!

We have had mixed success with this - he cannot abide me just sitting down to have a rest (the little shit!) but seems to accept it quite happily now if I have to go off for a while and do another job/chore.

He just follows me around whilst I do it though - still seems incapable of playing by himself!

BotBotticelli Tue 27-Oct-15 14:16:17

*meant to say your LO might be a bit YOUNG to get it. Not tough! Stupid iPhone.

Strawberrybubblegum Tue 27-Oct-15 21:32:12

Things which I've found sometimes work are:
1. Phrasing it as 'YES! I'll come and play as soon as I finish cleaning the worktop.'... ' I'm coming just now, almost done'. I think that as a pp said, if she hears yes rather than no/wait she's actually more willing to wait a bit. And of course, I stretch it as long as I think her tolerance will take. grin Like Bot's DS, she'll only accept it if I'm doing jobs rather than having a rest though!
2. When she uses a whiny voice. I say with a slight frown 'I don't like it when you ask me like that' (and the first couple of times I demonstrated the whine sound - not nastily, but so she could understand what I didn't like) 'Can you ask me strongly? ' (or later - once she'd understood how - 'Can you think of a different way to ask me? '). Then lots of praise (and doing what she'd asked for!) when she asked well. She looked a bit surprised the first couple of times - I don't think they realise they're doing it! One thing I read about whining is that it's what children do when they feel powerless, so that's worth bearing in mind.

Memyselfandthatotherperson Tue 27-Oct-15 21:41:29

2yo ds. This morning - didn't want to put on his new nappy after potty time tantrum. Result - 2 puddles on the floor hmm to be fair, he tried to help clean them up.

MaisieDotes Tue 27-Oct-15 22:06:56

DD is older now but the whiny voice used to drive me to distraction.

Similar to strawberry (and I used this when working with this age group too) I would say "gosh, I can't hear you properly when you talk to me in a sad quiet voice. Can you ask me again in a nice big girl voice?" Then when she asks nicely grant the request, or at least give a positive response.

Then once you've done this a couple of times you can just say "big girl voice" as a reminder when she whines.

Rivercam Tue 27-Oct-15 22:15:03

If she has a tantrum because you aren't complying with her demands, then ignore her. Providing she is safe and not in harm, having a tantrum won't harm her. She will soon learn that having a tantrum will not be rewarded with her demands being met.

Once my toddler had a full blown tantrum in a supermarket. I let him carry on and stood nearby. I didn't give in. He never had a tantrum again.(got funny looks from a nearby shop assistant, though)

Toddler Taming is a superb book for this age group.

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