Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Sweet, complacent preschooler wakes up one morning and point blank refuses to do whatever her parents want her to do at any moment, no matter what threats, promises, or even bribes are extolled. Familiar to anyone?
Now I know why 3 year olds drive their parents crazy. I could handle outright tantrums. Duh, walk out of the room and eventually the kid gets bored and gives up. But defiance? Pretending not to hear repeated requests? Non stop pouting? Turning into a limp noodle whenever someone tries to pick you up to make you do whatever it is that you find so distasteful? Mouthiness? Never ending grumpiness and oversensitivity?
I tried arguing with her, which, you guessed it, doesn’t work. I tried cajoling, which got me blank stares, I tried being firm, got more blank stares, and I started putting my foot down and saying that I’d either throw away some treat or revoke TV watching rights. The TV thing sometimes works, but I’m hating being mean mommy all the time.
Tonight I heaped on the positive feedback, took some time to cuddle and read a special story with her, before tucking her in we chatted a bit about our day, and then I carried her to bed and tucked her in gently. I’m hoping the positive feedback plus the extra attention helps fight the belligerence and I’m even thinking of instigating a reward for positive behavior chart. I sure hope something works because, I for one, am tired of seeing this face.
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