My nearly 4-year-old boy, who reminds me daily that he will be 4 in X days, has been spending a lot of time pushing my buttons lately. Most of the time, it happens close to bedtime, when my patience level is on empty. The behaviors include things like not listening to me, having to ask him multiple times to do things, like put on his pajamas, for example. He also likes defy me directly and to do dare-devilish things that give me heart attacks like jumping off high objects, despite my telling him “no.” several times. Sometimes he even does it with an evil grin on his face.
I would love to find ways to deal with this testing behavior rather than letting it get to me, which it does more often than I’d like to admit.
I recently read this article about How To Outsmart My Toddler, thinking this might give me some of the tools I might need in order to help me with my problem. The advice given that affects my situation is:
Believe it or not, by age 4, your toddler has a rudimentary idea of your values and even recognizes that there are other values and opinions besides yours. He or she may test these new discoveries by demanding things you don’t allow like certain TV shows, clothing or toys. Don’t worry if he or she is even rude to you for the first time, or uses unacceptable language. The best way to deal with it is to voice your disapproval and explain why you feel the rules you have in place are important. Take the emotion out of it. Many children adhere to rules because they want to avoid punishment, not because they realize that intentions are just as important as consequences. If you can take the extra time to explain it to them, it will help them grow more mature.
I’ve heard this advice before, which I’ve used, although it’s easier said than done in the moment when I’ve had it up to my eyeballs.
I guess I need to get a tattoo that says “Take the emotion out of it” or “Let it roll off your back.”
If I get this tattoo, and I put it on my back (the most logical place) I’d never see it.
Hmm. the dilemma.
Anyway read here for more tidbits of advice from this abclocal article.
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