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Question
Posted by: Jola | 2008/08/07

Tentrums

Hallo!
I dont know were to go any more. My girl is 2 years old she'  s a very busy little body. I dont know what to do because what ever I will do or say she'  s just ignors me. Let say I ask her to come and dress in the mornings she will always say: no mommy I will ask her to sit in the bath and not stand she will say: no mommy. For ever and a day I can repeat myself and I try to speak nicely to her and sometime shout at her (most of the time when I cannot cope with the chalenge) or even give her a smack when is just to much and than I feel so guilty because that was'  nt what I want to to do or say. I dont know how I can convince her to do what is requaire. She cannot just do what she want'  s to all the time in my mind there is a time for playing as to eat bath and change the nappies. What would you recommend for us as a solution for this constat problem. This carries on for ever????????????Should I just go and see a psyhologist?? Please help am desperet and very down!

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Our expert says:
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Gosh, we seem to be having a flood of questions about tantrums these days ! I'm tempted to throw one myself. Try raising these questions also on the parenting forum, to get the views of many really experienced parents !
She is probably being negativistic, practising power tactics by saying NO. There is a stage ( sometimes several stages ) when a young child explores her power by saying NO, and by doing the opposite of what she is asked. Sometimes one can use this --- when you want her to sit down in the bath, ask her to stand, and she will more likely choose to sit. Instead of arguing about whether she will get dressed, or whether she will put on the dress you chose, put out two dresses, and ask her to choose which to put on. Maybe suggesting that you prefer the red one, and she will probably choose the green one and put it on. In other words, give her opportunities to feel empowered by refusing some suggestions, while still in fact essentially doing what you want her to do.
I don't think a mild smack now and then is disasterous, but as you have found it solves nothing, so it is never useful. But the guilt doesn't help you or her. As Lin says, you can often persuade her that the right thing happens to be her idea --- even agreeing cheerfully wih her suggestion ( which she hasn't actually made yet ). Kids as brilliant at manipulating parents --- so feel free to manipulate back, so long as it is in a healthy direction.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lin | 2008/08/07

I' ve found with my 2 year old little boy that if I make him feel as if something was his idea, he' ll do it. But if I try and force him, he says no and might even throw a tantrum. 2 year old' s are generally difficult because they are learning how to assert themselves....
If you' re down, it will be helpful to see a counsellor.

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