Advice Column, Parenting, Toddler

Toddlers tandrums to cheekiness & manipulation

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My now 3 year old has moved on from the Toddler Tantrum phase and has started working on her next goals: how to manipulate mommy into getting what she wants and being cheeky.

I am now starting to (sort of) enjoy these new phases and her development. Her latest ploy in manipulation goes like this:

C: Mommy I love you! (with the sweetest smile)
Me: I love you too
C: Mommy you are my good friend (another angelic smile)
Me: Thank you
C: Mommy can I have a lollipop
Me: No
C: You are NOT my friend (screamed at me angrily with an accusing finger in my face)
Me: That’s right, I am your mom, not your friend
C: Papa… you are my good friend. Can I have a lollipop?
Papa: No
C: You are NOT my friend (screamed at Papa angrily with an accusing finger in his face)

I can see clearly how she is trying to work things in her favour and I am sure at some stage she will work out how to be a little more subtle. She is also working out how to play mommy and papa against each other too.

Now that I am not such a new mommy anymore I am able to be more calm and detached in these situations and handle them better which I can see has a better impact on her behaviour. One of her favourite things to say right now is “I don’t want to” or “I don’t feel like it” when I ask her to do something. I have found a great remedy for this which seems to be working with great effect. When she responds like that I just say ok and carry on. I wait until she asks me for something like going for a walk and I tell her that I don’t feel like it so we are not going. I explain to her that sometimes we don’t feel like doing something but because we love each other and we are family we can do it anyway. But if she doesn’t feel like picking up her toys I won’t take her for a walk if I don’t feel like it.

She seems to be catching on nicely now. She still has her cheeky responses but she does do what I ask of her so I ignore the cheekiness like I ignored her tantrums.

Strangely enough my 1 year old has started making those rasping, spitting noises at me every time I tell him no, it is like he is pulling his tongue out at me and being cheeky too! He can only say Mama, Eina and Daar but his non-verbal skills are definitely on the go!

What stage is your child at and how do you manage?

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