Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Season

I got an email update from Babycenter this morning. The subject was “What Your 22 Month Old Is Doing Now: Week 2.”

The email informed me of a condition referred to as “toddler refusal,” which is a stage when a toddler’s only word is “no.”

I’m so grateful that I received this email today because I never would have guessed that my child could be defiant. I’m so glad they warned me, because the last seven days of my life have sounded something like this:

While Playing In the Snow:

Mommy: David, we have been outside for an hour. Your lips are blue and your fingers feel like ice. Let’s go inside and make some hot cocoa.

David: NO! NO! NO!

While Taking A Bath:

Mommy: David, sit on your butt in the tub. I don’t want you to get a boo-boo.

David: NO! NO! NO!

While Getting Ready for School:

Mommy: David, what do you want to wear today? Do you want your moose shirt or your motorcycle shirt?

David: NO! NO! NO!

While Still Getting Ready for School:

Mommy: Great job, David! Thanks for letting me pin you down with my elbow while I try to fasten your diaper before you flip off the changing table! Now, its time to put on your pants.

David: NO! NO! NO!

Mommy: David, do your friends wear pants?

David: Yes.

Mommy: David, do your teachers wear pants?

David: Yes.

Mommy: David, do you wear pants?

David: NO! NO! NO!

Luckily for me, the smart folks at Babycenter have plenty of advice to offer. If you are coping with toddler refusal, try the following:

Divert the child’s attention. If he refuses to go into the house after playing in the snow and you fear hypothermia, simply divert his attention by offering hot cocoa.

Your child is exercising his will. Offer choices to help him feel a sense of power and control. For example, allow him to choose his favorite moose shirt or his new motorcycle shirt. For best results, limit his choices to only two options.

Explain to your child why a certain behavior is desired. For example, remind him that his friends and teachers wear pants, so it would be good for him to wear pants, too.

I’m going to print this so Little King David can read it. He obviously didn’t get these instructions.

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