A donkey with earplugs and blinders
Our ‘Timan’ is approaching his 3rd birthday with giant strides, he has just a little less than 2 month more to go and I really don’t see an end to those ‘terrible twos’. But I’m not talking about tantrums in this post. No, I’m talking about something else: My little monkey is rather a little donkey with earplugs and blinders. He’s
defiant strong willed, doesn’t listen is very busy and doesn’t pay attention has his own opinion.
But I found some strategies that work actually
pretty good sometimes with my tot to make him listen and do what I want him to do:
- A short, simple and clear message that tells him what I want from him. No long sentence about the why’s and if’s. He would probably just getting lost and forgets what I told him to do.
- Lock eyes, even if I have to force him to do it by going down to his level or lift him up and restrain him from kicking.
- Talk with a calm but firm voice because now I’m much to close for a loud voice anyway. 😉
And not to forget:
- The Smile: My chance to get the message across and ‘Timan’ complying is much better when he can see that I’m not angry with him. Even if sometimes it is a forced smile to be honest. However the importance is not to turn the whole situation into something funny, otherwise my authority is gone in the flic of a second. Depending on the situation I’m waking actually a fine line with this smile.
And this one works
like a charm most of the time:
- Let him choose so he can completely be in control of the situation in questions of clothing, meal choices or things he has to do (Mommy is doing one of his tasks, he’s doing the other one, but he can choose which one he wants to do).
But sometimes the situation is just not for choosing, so I do:
- The counting: I count to the magical number 3 and when I’m finished he better does what he’s supposed to do, or else … . This works absolutely perfect but I have to follow through with the thing I threaten to impose on him. It took a couple of tries and he really got it. 🙂 This is actually my #1 tool.
If nothing else works, the next one is my absolutely very last trick (but I really don’t like it at all and I never ever do it when we are in a shop):
Buy him, bribe himoffer an incentive: Who says little kids can’t be bought?. ‘Timan’ wants something, he’s getting it. But only if Mommy is getting her way. But I’m afraid if I’m doing this too often I might end up with no other tool and that’s what I’m trying to avoid.
And I have to admit, sometimes I’m doing this:
- Yelling: One shout and very loud. It actually works when something is at stake or dangerous, i.g. he’s about to run into an approaching car. This is getting not only the attention of ‘Timan’ but also of the whole neighbourhood. Ugh. 😦 But if I’m yelling at the tot on a daily basis because he’s being naughty it is getting us nowhere. He is just closing his ears and I end up to be the one who is frustrated.
And even this I’ve done:
- Spanking on his hand when ‘Timan’ is trying to grab something after I told him several times over numerous days not to do it and he still keeps doing it. Like i.g. snatching something off the cutting board while I’m cutting or trying to grab something out of the hot pan on the stove. I don’t regret these spanks because the message came through and he
never did it againdoes it less often. Mission accomplished.
But let’s be honest, at the end of the day this one is cheering me up every time in those very desperate situations ;-):
Sometimes we have good days, life is wonderful and everything goes well from the time we open our eyes until we fall asleep at night.
But still, we have days nothing seems to work. The whole day is just terrible and awful, ‘Timan’ is not listening to anything and one naughty behaviour is followed by the next one. As I mentioned before, please don’t get me started with his tantrums. I could tell you about them with no end in sight. Sigh.
And then again, ‘Timan’ is a sweet and cuddly tot and the best awesome little boy in the whole wide world. I love him to the moon and back. And he’s my son, my mini-me. 🙂
What are your strategies when your kids turn a deaf ear to everything you are saying? Or do you really have the miracle words that make them do what you want them to?