We have a child who is fiercely independent, strong-willed and stubborn. When Olivia doesn't want to do something she is very quick to let us know it. At our last paediatrician visit, I was introduced to an idea that is magic in our house. Enter the simple concept of 1, 2, 3. Our paediatrician told us that whenever Olivia is being disobedient, we ask her to stop. If she doesn't stop, then I say to her, "I'm going to count to three and I need you to stop", and here is the key, if she still hasn't stopped we follow through by making her. For example, if Olivia doesn't want to leave the playground, I say "it's time to go home now, let's get in the stroller." If she refuses, then I tell her that I am going to count to three and then we are leaving. Once I get to three, if Olivia is still refusing, then I simply put her in the stroller (even if it's a battle).
Rocket science I know! But it works, and after two weeks of using this approach, I rarely get to three. I think it comes down to the fact that by allowing Olivia the time it takes to count to three, she is getting to make her own decision to stop doing something. Rather than us jumping straight in and taking that decision away from her. This has been a game changer for us in how we approach discipline with a toddler who has plenty of spunk. Boy do we adore her!
Do you have any other genius ideas for dealing with toddlers?
PS. Who else can't believe that it is May already!