What do you do when your toddler starts bossing you around? You teach them that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Here's an example:
Your 2 1/2 year old daughter is finished playing with her toys which she's strewn all over the living room. It's time for lunch and you ask her to help you pick up her toys (chores need to be done together when they're really little).
She bossily responds, "No, you do it!"
You say, "That was rude so your toys are going to be put away". Then go get a box and methodically start putting her toys into same and put them up high where she can't reach them. Absolutely NO dialogue during this process, just quiet and calm ... on your part anyway. Dialogue is weak when you are disciplining. Actions speak louder than words. Besides, you've already explained what's happening. Let her figure it out from there.
Let her scream and do whatever, that's her problem. See this as her own process on learning how to be accountable. She is rude, there is a consequence. She'll get this eventually if you use this method.
When you are done say, "You will get your toys back tomorrow and if you are rude again, they go away again".
What she does at this point has nothing whatsoever to do with how you conduct yourself. This is where parents get manipulated, they let the child talk them out of this lesson by whining, crying, tantrumming, apologizing, promising to be good, etc. If you allow yourself to be manipulated and controlled like this, then your child is in charge and they know it.
Important: Once you have taken appropriate action and the child has been disciplined, let it go. Don't keep harping on the negative as that's just mean. Be all loving and fun once again ... but DO NOT GIVE IN AND RETURN THE TOYS!!!
I always told my kids they had complete control over their lives, it's all up to them and how they behave. They got that from a really young age. What's interesting is that it worked with other little ones also, even if I just had them for an afternoon. They knew that if they were good at my house, everything was wonderful. If they were bad, there were consequences. They never cried or anything, they were happy as they got that it was all up to them. "You push someone on the trampoline, you are off the trampoline for 10 minutes. If you argue, it's 20 minutes." Simple, they got it and didn't push.
You want to teach your children that they get back what they put out into the world. They put out negative stuff, that's what they get. There are exceptions of course but they got the point.
It's just that simple ... give it a go.
BTW, if you've been letting them be in charge previously, this is going to be harder. Be strong, you can do it.
Remember: Be the Fun Parent, not the Friend. Friends allow cheekiness, parents don't.Starting Soon: 8-Week Toddler Program - February 3 to March 24, 2014
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach Office: 604-944-7479 Email: Lisa@BratBusters.com
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