Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Avoiding Power Struggles with Your Toddler in One Simple Step

Benedict has a lot of big emotions, but I am realizing how easy it is to defuse them, or avoid them all together a lot of the time. And it takes just one simple step.

The other morning I brought Benedict to the bathroom to clean up his dirty diaper. When we got there, he refused to let me take his pants off, and adamantly screamed at me when I attempted to help.

Sitting back, I considered my options:

Use force. After all, I didn't really want him wandering around the house, possibly smearing the contents of his diaper wherever he sat.


Give him a choice.

So I asked him, "Do you want to leave the bathroom and stay in your dirty diaper? Or do you want to help mommy get you cleaned up so you can put on underwear?"

I could see the wheels turning in his head as he moved toward the door, only to decide for the latter. With no more fight or protest, we were able to get him cleaned up and back to playing with his brother.

Why Do Toddlers Tantrum?

Maria Montessori believed that tantrums were always the result of some repression of an internal need. For toddlers, this need is, more often than not, the need for autonomy.

If we pick Benedict up and carry him to his bed, he cries.
But if we tell him it is bedtime a few minutes in advance, and then ask him if he would like to walk or be carried, he makes the decision according to his need that night, and there are no tears.

He has had his fair share of runny noses with back-to-back colds, and has come to hate having his nose wiped. Every time I would try to blow his nose he would cry and fight.
But if I offer him the tissue, and allow him to have a turn first, he is happy to have me help afterward.

The same can be said about brushing his teeth. Getting dressed. Getting in the van. Putting on shoes.

He, just like any other toddler, just wants to feel that they have some control, however insignificant or arbitrary it may seem to us at the time.

What does your toddler fight you about? I encourage you to try providing them with a choice, wherever possible. I would love to hear how it goes, comment or email me your stories!

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I would also love to hear any suggestions for posts you would like me to write about. And if you are interested in following along in our daily adventures, follow us on Instagram where I post daily.

God bless,
Olivia Fischer

No comments:

Post a Comment