Needs clear rules
October 12, 2012 11:58 AM Subscribe
My 18-month-old suddenly has very specific ideas about what she wants or doesn't want to do RIGHT NOW. And boy, does she holler when she is thwarted! I end up not being as consistent as I want to be. Please help me come up with a strategy.
posted by Omnomnom to Human Relations (35 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
My problem is, my default attitude when other people want to do something with me that I am not crazy about is, "well ok, not my cup of tea, but if they really want to..." I am working on having the confidence of expressing what I want, but in the meantime this is getting in the way of parenting.
I came up with a plan that said "since I tend to be overpermissive, I am going to err on the side of strictness. Whenever Toddler Nom does something I am not crazy about, I am going to say no. As a mom, I am allowed to say no for not better reason than that I don't like something."
But then when it comes to saying no, I run up against my other rule which is "pick your battles". And I think, "so she's eating a cookie on the sofa, which I told her I don't like because of the potential mess. But is this really the hill I want to die on? What does it matter in the long run if she does spread a few cookie crumbs on the sofa?"
And so I second guess myself and I start dithering, which is against my most important rule, "be consistent"!
Another example is, I wanted to put her in the carrier to go shopping for dinner. But she was just busy playing with my purse. I took the purse away, she screamed. I took her out again and thought about it. Then, I put her into the carrier with my purse, she screamed again. I took her out again. Then, after scratching my head and thinking "this is ridiculous", I just put the yelling kid into the carrier by force and walked out. I feel like I could have spared us both the yelling by being more consistent.
Despite all that I did get yelled at at least 15 times today. Sometimes I got so frustrated at being yelled at despite my leniency that I just walked out for a bit. But I also know that Toddler Nom's behaviour is completely age appropriate and that from her point of view, she ALWAYS loses!
I feel like I'm a pretty bad parent at the moment and I would like some help at coming up with a strategy I can draw on while making my decision when my kid starts yelling. Thank you!