Anna is 3.5 and a very head strong little girl. Lately, we have been dealing with I want to do this and I want it my way. I am sure there are tons of books out there that tell you how to deal with this. I have chosen not to read any of those books! My daughter is different she is not a cookie cutter kid (neither is yours!) all kids are different. What works to motivate Anna may not work for your child. I just thought I would share some things that work for me to get Anna to do either what I want or to change what she wants to suit me a little more.
1) I give Anna choices! I try to give her choices throughout the day! I will even let her go outside of those choices - sometimes! ie: Do you want to wear the pink shirt or the yellow one? If she says "I want to wear the blue one" if it is suitable for the days weather I say ok! Little ones like to have control just like we do. Or you can either go to the park or we can paint. You decide and that is what we will do. We will NOT do both! When she finishes the one she chose and wants to do the other I remind her she made her choice and we have to live with our choices! The more we can help them feel in control the more they don't mind letting us have a "turn" on the important things.
2) I keep things on her level but always try to boost her level. Meaning I won't talk to her like she is 16 but I don't baby her either. I use big words but I explain what they mean. Little ones want to learn, they are naturally curious. Sometimes you can divert their attention by giving a mini vocabulary lesson ;)
3) I break things down for her. If I want her to clean the living room and she just doesn't want to it is usually because it is overwhelming. (By clean the living room I mean her toys!) I will ask her to pick up her books. After she is done I ask her to pick up her blocks. After that I ask her to pick up her kitchen. When they are this little sometimes they still don't know where to start. I think about me and how overwhelmed I can get. I don't like to clean when it is in such a state I don't know where to start. I wish someone could break it down for me sometimes lol.
4) I make sure she understands there are consequences. If you don't let me brush your hair we will NOT be leaving. If you do not put on your shoes you will not be able to run outside with me, but I will be right back!
5) Say what you mean and mean what you say! If you say you aren't going to leave if you don't brush you hair. Don't give in after 15 minutes and put a cap on. If you stand your ground the next time that particular battle comes up it will be easier.
6) Be consistent! We don't like when the rules are changed on us so don't change the rules on your little one. I let my daughter jump off the couch. I know most of you probably think that is crazy. It started by me holding her hand and her jumping to get off and it snow balled. After I let her do it once I couldn't tell her she couldn't because that wouldn't make since to her. It wouldn't be fair. Now if it gets to the point where she is going to get hurt I will stop it. I will explain to her why the rules changed and come up with an alternative!
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