It’s very easy for us adults, to communicate rejection. We reason, we take time to listen, we process, then we stop- all in just a blink of an eye.
But for kids, most especially for toddlers, what they understand is just their own feelings which they can only express in a very limited vocabulary.
“No” is a big word for them, and once a parent gave in to his child after saying the “NO” word, he will start to test his limits… and so, the battle begins.
It can be irritating at times, we know we are right, we have a sound reason but it’s kinda hard to convey when they show lack of interest in you and your requests. It’s two opposing streets for both you and your child… your way, and his way.
My words for you: don’t give up, accept the challenge, show him that you’re also a toughie:
1. First, encourage and help (when your child need it).
Remember that you shouldn’t be harsh right away. Use the “sayang” or “lambing” or “courtship” method.
Most of us know that this technique is way better than demanding your child what to do. Children copy their parents, so if you ask in a friendly manner, your child will most likely to follow you.
“Zack, I know that you are still having fun playing, but if you brush your teeth now, daddy will be happy and daddy will play with you again.”
“Don’t worry, daddy will help you brush your teeth, it will be just very quick.”
2. If he rejects, do the drama (well, not so much).
Children don’t want their parents sad.
In my almost 7 years of being a mom, I realized how much they are concerned with my feelings. I still remember when Zack (he’s one and a half yo at that time) saw me crying (no biggie, really) and all he kept on telling me was “Mommy… don’t cry… I promise…”
Just like their parents, they can not help it when we’re sad too.
“I’m feeling sad right now, because I know you will follow me…but you are still playing.”
If that doesn’t work, try to:
3. Be firm and exercise authority.
Tell him that he ought to do what you told him to do because you are his parent. Explain to him the importance of being an obedient child. It’s okay now to be as firm as Adolf (since you did everything you could ) but don’t overdo it.
“Zack, you need to follow me now, or else I will be angry at you.”
As always, it is important to use nice words to your child after the tiring yet successful chase.
“I’m happy now, you have been a good boy because you followed me.”
Make way for cuddles and kisses because the two of you deserve it. 🙂