I have come to realize that my son is strong willed and usually likes getting his way at all times. I have seen him amongst other kids exhibited that trait but my concern now is that to me and the mom, he still wants to always have his way and also get all he wants. How do I manage him such that when i tell no, stop, its ok: he must respond?
It's so hard at this age, especially if they are strong willed. My 3 boys are all strong willed but my youngest who is 2 is off the charts on his level of strong-will. I think what helps them the most is consistency. If he is throwing his food, after you have asked him to stop, remove him from the table. If he is doing things after you ask him to stop then take him to his room or a place where he is away from the action. After several removals he will begin to understand and comply but the effect will fade if you fail to be consistent. Consistency is key! I hope the best for you all!
I agree with Kelleyward - consistency. Also wondering about why he is using negative behaviour to get attention. Have you read one two three magic? Its an old text but can be effective. Setting routines and boundaries, praising him and focusing on what he does well and being absolute and firm about behaviours that are not ok. The Triple P Parenting Program has some (I don't agree with all of it) tips around discipline as well.
I have an 18 month old and have started to struggle with the same thing over the past 2 months. I have noticed an improvement when I was consistent (like other posters said) and did not give him what he wanted if he was acting out. I did not see any difference at first so I was worried but over time, I am noticing he is starting to get it. I think we need to be consistent and I also think we need to be patient. They are not going to learn overnight and it takes time. I make sure I praise a small improvement too. For example, my son was beginning to hit my husband and I each time we said no or had to take something away from him. At first I started to praise him whenever he put his hand up to hit us and stopped himself. I also made sure he got back whatever we took away or gave him what he wanted faster whenever he stopped himself. He's cut down a lot on the hitting so we are hoping this was effective. I think if you wait too long for the reward, they simply do not make the connection.
What I have struggled with is noticing what we are doing is rewarding the wrong behavior. I think I need to stay on my toes and keep paying attention. If he asks for something (or points to something) and he reacts poorly because I do not hand it to him fast enough I make sure I stop myself and wait for him to calm down and react a little better (not perfectly but some improvement) before he gets it. I want to make sure he learns that being calm, communicating with us gets him what he wants and hitting or flipping out in some way does not.
Wow, that's tough at an age when they are still learning about the things around them. Exploration is part of the psyche and is healthy. Good routine and key words other than "no" help.
I suspect that the discipline issue is about yourself or your partner, a seriously objective look at all your behaviours - not just your son - might be a good start.
Discipline per se that damages his self confidence (or lack of it) that promotes this behaviour should be avoided and (as the posters above have pointed out) firm consistent behaviour on your part should do the trick.
Strong will and go-getting traits in general are not a bad thing, we advocate them in later life, if they are tempered with self-control they are the most powerful elements of character.
Have you ever heard of this stage being called 'the terrible 2's' because it is probably due to his age - or is that once popular saying out of date now?
At two you begin to discover (if you have not noticed before) that you are a 'person' and that you may not want to do what other people want you to do, or like what they like.
The skills you will need at this stage are to do with balance letting him discover who he is and gain confidence, without the family or him suffering from the 'tempest in a teapot' that can come over the child.
Try to help him learn to make choices by offering him a choice where what he chooses cannot be wrong. Such as "Do you want an apple or an orange to eat?" Believe it or not this can be an overwhelming choice when you are two if you want both. Sometimes you can rescue the situation by saying something like "I know you have half an apple now and then the half the orange later, you can share it with me."
Their moods at this age can be sunshine and showers, it is the age they are, not that they are going to turn out to be badly behaved. I am told I was awful at two wanting my own way but I did not grow up to be an adult version of that.
It is a good point that strong will is not always a bad thing if for example when older it eventually becomes determination to achieve at something.
Praise when he is good is important and not giving in to unreasonable demands such as if he wants everything he sees. Mean what you say so for example - if he wants ice cream/crisps all the time instead of meals do n't give into the ice cream/crisps demands not even once, if you do he will expect to get the same next time. Both parents having the same attitude helps too. I think it is like riding out a storm, eventually it passes.
by Ruben Rivera 8 years ago
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