It sounds like you're a GREAT parent
LO is also strong willed and opinionated (luckily we don't have 'no' yet ..... Not looking forward to that one!)
All I can say is that it sounds like she's being silly with you cos she thinks it will work, I think as others have said if you set boundaries and really be firm and inforce than she'll come right in no time, it's just a stage
Things like clothes ... Nim gets two choices - top a or top b. if she runs off or doesn't grab one I tell her mummies choosing. If I have to pin her down to dress here so be it, she needs to get dressed! it's not optional. I've only had to do it twice and now she's pretty good (we do 'chase' round the sofa but she stads for tops and trousers to on)
Same with walking/going somewhere - she gets the option to follow/hold hand and if she decides not to she gets picked up - even if it means her screaming.
In Nims case the more decisive I am the better she gets (after the initial 'omg hw dare you not let me do exactly as I like)
In circumstances where it doesn't matter so much I try to make sure she controls a lot of her own decisions/actions. At ome I try to make her environment as 'yes' as possible.
I've really found with Tom that I have to be firm and give him very clear signals, choices and consequences or he is awful because he is very strong willed and knows exactly how he thinks the world should work. I avoid asking him if he wants to do things when he's in a mood or kicking off - I save the choices for when he is calm and happy and I limit them to things I'm happy for him to have or do.
When he needs to do something like get ready to leave or change his nappy, I count to 5 and when I get to 5 I fetch him and do whatever it is whether he likes it or not. Normally now he comes running on 3 or 4 because he knows I mean it. I can judge his mood or how tired he is by what number I get to before he complies with my request - him waiting till 5 means its going to be a rough day! If I have to fetch him, I know I may as well take a deep breath and count to 1000 straight away!
He also gets consequences so if he hits or kicks me etc, I take something he wants away, usually a toy. He always is warned this will happen if he does it again and again its rare at the mo that he carries on with the behaviour. Like Fluffpuffin I don't try and entertain etc when he's kicking off now - I get him into his pushchair or the car and leave him to it. I really don't care what other people think anymore but I know its hard when people are staring at you. He's been having tantrums since 13 months old so I've had alot of practice.
I know I sound really harsh with him but I also spend a long time telling him how much I love him and we have lots of lovely times playing together.
I would definately try and speed up leaving nursery and getting her into the car. TBH if she's going to kick off whatever you do, you've got nothing to loose by telling her its time to go and carrying her to the car or holding her hand firmly and walking her out of there straight away. And it would help give her the message that mummy is in charge here not her.
Big hugs cos its all such hard work - I'm always knackered in the evening and I'm not pregnant on top of dealing with a toddler.
agree with all this. I also do the counting and then following through, though I count to 3. it does work well
I know how draining it is as Daisy is very strong willed and has huge tantrums. We have started zero tolerance with her now as her tantrums were getting out of hand. She has one chance to do what we ask and if she doesn't do it there will be consequences. I count backwards from 5 to 0 and she knows that by 0 if she hasn't conformed then she'll lose something/go home/have to go in the pushchair or whatever. An example being she was having a tantrum in asda cafe last week as she wanted to run around and obviously she couldn't with hot drinks around. We told her to sit down nicely to have her lunch ands if she couldn't then she'd have to leave. She didn't stop by 0 so hubby took her out to wait in the car with her until the rest of us had finished. She is slowly realising that we mean what we say. She let me put her suncream on with no hassle at all today (normally she'd make a fuss) as I told her she would have to come inside if she didn't let me do it.
There have been some good answers here it's so hard because these days the trend is to not set boundaries because your child is supposed to be free to make choices. Truth is they are too young to make all their own choices at this age and this is precisely why you are the parent. It's our job to make those decisions for them until they reach an age where they are old enough to have the freedom to make their own choices. Where there is opportunity to give them a choice I think it's good to let them have the freedom to choose, but like the others said - limit the choices you give her or else it becomes overwhelming for them.
To be honest, it's not always easy and they will keep trying to push the boundaries because that's just how they are at this age, even if you are really firm. If you are consistent though it will eventually pay off and it will get easier. I have been through it with DS2 who was really willful and still is, but it's so much easier now
I haven't read all of the responses so not sure if this has been said, but I would say that you are giving her too much leeway It's confusing for toddler's to have so many options and they shouldn't be allowed to decided when they go in the car or when they put there shirt on. Maybe just try being firm with everything you do with her, eventually she will understand you mean business. I guarantee you that at day care she doesn't get to choose what she does next and she doesn't expect to be able to do that there. And you are not a bad parent, parenting is so hard and it truly is a trial and error process. Good luck.
I have to say I agree the mums that have said she's getting too much choice that she's confused.
As has been said in day care they will no way give her so much choice which is why she behaves well for them!
Cut down on the choices and put your foot down with her.
You're the parent not your daughter. She does as you ask or there are consequences.
She'll pick that up pretty quickly as long as you are consistent!
- you need a structure. An action and a consequence. With Earl we have done 'naughty spot/step' since he was 15 months, and now he knows what will happen if he does something that we don't like/isn't appropriate.
- Be firm. If it's time to go, leave. If it's time to go up the stairs, take her up the stairs. But, if you say 'we'll read the book when we get inside' then do just that. Get inside and ask her to get her book and read it. She will learn to trust what you say, and to understand that when you say 'we'll do x when y is finished', that it will actually happen.
- keep choices to 2 as a maximum. 2 t-shirts, 2 pairs of socks, 2 cereals at breakfast, 2 activities. Don't give her the opportunity to say 'No' if you can help it. Do you want Cheerios or Krispies? Do you want the red shirt or the yellow? Plus you're teaching her names for things, and eventually she will start to ask for them specifically by name
- Always follow through. If you feel that she needs a time-out then give her one. I have given Earl spots in the middle of the supermarket before now and have had nothing but support from passers-by. Most of the time people are aware of how frustrating toddlers can be, but if you have a coping strategy of when she does x, I do Y, then z happens, then you can feel more in control, and she is less frustrated or nervous.
- Do something nice together. If you know that she likes to play tea parties, then suggest that, or whatever her favourite game is. Play together, get her to lead the game, and then praise her to the hilt. She needs to hear positive reinforcement just as much as the negative stuff. Plan something nice out and about too.....but be prepared not to stay long, and to act on her behaviour appropriately. Earl really loves the park, but if he doesn't listen, or runs away we go straight home.
- Don't bear a grudge. Once the 'punishment' (for want of a better expression) is over, then the event has passed. You need the time-out or whatever as much as she does, then you move on. Don't be afraid to do it again straight away after as well if she is still not responding. You want to be able to say, Yes, we both learned something there.
I hope this is helpful. We have all been in similar frames of mind and situations. Taking control isn't easy, but it's worth it. You're a brilliant Mum!
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