By 2 years of age children are often starting to push the boundaries. This is when you need to sit down with your partner and come to an agreement on what is accepted by the both of you. This can be a great cause of conflict in a relationship and limitations need to be agreed upon regularly. These will change, as each time you get one thing sorted something else will pop up.
Give children of this age two choices, two that you are happy with. For example: (we are going out for lunch so the favourite jeans with a hole can't be worn), “Do you want to wear the skirt with the spots or the pink skirt”. (Your child needs to have breakfast, this is not a choice), “Would you have Corn Flakes or Rice Bubbles”; “Would you like a bath or a shower?” This gives your child some control and allows them to feel empowered; again building their confidence. It is also about allowing them to make good choices, and you as the parent building trust in your child’s ability to make safe choices. So what do you do with the child who won't choose? Again two choices and two that you are happy with, “You have till the time I count to 3 or I will choose for you, One Two Three. Okay, lets wear the one with the spots. Nanny bought you this one it will make Nanny smile when we see her today.” Keep it positive, don’t get cranky, don't get frustrated, and just be matter of fact. As soon as you show cracks your child knows that you are a push over.
Following on from last weeks better parenting tip, 'Giving children two choices that you are happy with', we need to give our children skills, so that one day they are wise enough to make these choices for them self. “I have an assignment due on Monday and I really want to go to the Beach with Sarah on Saturday morning, Jenny has invited me to the movies on Sunday and it is Phoebe's Birthday Party on Saturday night”. Instead of you being the bad parent and saying “No, you are not going; you should have started the assignment weeks ago, I am tired of being on your back all the time... you are not going anywhere until it is done”. The choices that we give our children now set them up for life. Ask yourself... Do you want your child to take responsibility? Do you want them to be happy? Do you want them to have a good balance between friends and school? Do want them to achieve their best?
You can’t always do it for them, you need to give them responsibility, let them make choices and take responsibility.