Do you ever find yourself wondering?
Why your child has to be so darn stubborn?
This is not what I signed up for when becoming a parent…
It can be unbelievably maddening, dealing with the same behaviour day in day out.
Perhaps you’ve tried everything… and still, nothing changes.
The good news is that there are solutions when dealing with a defiant toddler. Don’t wait to make the changes, don’t wait till your child is older and more set in their ways.
The quicker and earlier you start the quicker and easier you will see the long-lasting changes you’re looking for.
I have seen toddlers hitting and biting with out of control behaviour ALL stop within weeks because the parents support their child with skills and a new belief about themselves.
But first. Before we can change the behaviour, we have to understand what is happening.
What I have come to learn.
My child’s behaviour is NO REFLECTION on my parenting.
It doesn’t mean I was getting it wrong, that I wasn’t firm enough, strict enough, consistent enough.
It doesn’t mean I had a naughty, entitled, disrespectful daughter.
Thinking harsh thoughts about yourself and your child will push you down a rabbit warren of fear. It leads you to react in a way that causes more problems than it fixes.
They don’t yet have the self-control or communication skills yet.
Before I would have thought my daughter was acting out on purpose, to get at me, to push my buttons. And I would have become angry and resentful.
What I have come to realise is that at that age it’s not a choice.
It really isn’t.
As mature you think your 3-year-old is, she can’t automatically handle self-control yet.
She has huge emotions that go from 0-60 faster than a speeding bullet that can override her thinking, rational brain she doesn’t yet have the ability to calm herself down.
So much of what we get frustrated overboils down to our child’s brain development and lacking skills. (We as adults DO have a choice in how we think, feel and act.)
This doesn’t mean we let the behaviour slide. This means we spend our energy on coaching our children to bring out their self-control.
I’m raising a strong leader.
Strong-willed kids are not easily persuaded. They know what they want and are persistent with it.
I know how infuriating this can seem when you’re battling with a toddler but instead of trying to stomp it out, learn to harness, it and bring it out as a strength is the way to go.
At the end of the day…
No amount of threat, rewards or punishments are going to support your child to learn self-control and manage their own behaviour.
Above all, your child needs you to calmly take charge. Your toddler needs you to set firm boundaries while coaching them into how to manage their strong emotions and impulsive behaviour.
I tell you… soon the daily battles will be a thing of the past and you will have gained willing cooperation and bring calm back to home.
So, what can you do?
As counter-intuitive as it sounds start to see what is right with each situation.
Because, when you’ve been dealing with a defiant toddler it’s common to get stuck in a negative cycle of power struggles and stress.
I bet you spend your time threatening, cajoling, bribing, rewarding, punishing… and it is exactly these tactics that keep you stuck. Not to mention how utterly exhausting and stressful they are. Your child might comply for a moment, but soon the defiance returns and often stronger than ever.
And you’re left wondering. “What else can I do?!”
One of the quickest ways to change behaviour.
It’s all about changing your focus.
Start to focus on what is right with each situation. Start to see situations from your child’s viewpoint.
In language of Listening® the 3-step coaching model I use and teach we call this success training.
Because every time we point out what did go right, however small in the right direction, we show our children that they can do it.
While all children already have every imaginable strength. But they might not realise it yet, or know how to use them. That’s where you come in – to show them what they’re capable of.
Because, if you can’t see it in your child how are they going to see it in themselves?
A more challenging child needs to know that they do have self-control, that they can calm down, they can stop themselves.
Above all else, your strong-willed child needs to know you’ve got their back. You see the best in them, and you believe in them.
When they’ve had a mega-tantrum. Instead of focusing on how it can feel like they’ve ruined your day or tell them they’re being rude or stubborn…
Focus on the fact that they did calm down:
“You got so frustrated, you got all your mad out and you did calm down, you knew just what you needed to calm down. You did it! That shows you can stop yourself.”
“You really don’t want to wait! You want to go on the slide right now! Waiting’s hard. And you found a way to make it work. You found something you can do! You’re a problem-solver.”
These phrases connect your child with their inner greatness. And when you start to use these you will start to see you child standing taller, eyes brighter with a beaming smile.
As crazy as it seems, it is this that gets you out of power struggles and defiance and into willing-cooperation and peace.
So, next time your child is having a full-on mega-watt-meltdown at the checkout, remember with your support and coaching your child will manage their emotions, gain self-control and be the child they are meant to be.
Parenting is a journey and I know without a shadow of a doubt I’m setting up my son and daughter with the inner strengths and beliefs they will need on their journey through life.
But this time, I scooped up my wriggling toddler and hot-hoofed it to the car. I have to tell you, there are going to be times you just have to manage the moment the best you can.
And although sometimes it can feel like you want the earth to open and gobble you up, I have come to realise these 0-60 kind of kids kinda rock!
When you truly understand how they tick, they are the most amazing, wonderful, passionate kids we can be fortunate enough to parent.
Are you ready for more support? Ready to bring calm back to home? let’s chat. You can schedule a complimentary, no-obligation call. You can do that by clicking right here.