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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Toddler Tricks - 98: Wait Them Out

Problem: Your child won't wipe herself, or eat, or sleep, or whatever it is she won't do. It's a battle of wills, and you aren't giving up.

Solution: While it's best to avoid battle of wills, I can't always to this. I'm just not patient in that way. I find, when I've made the mistake of taking a stance, it's best to remember that I've got all day, and I've got nothing to lose. I wait them out. Unless we have somewhere to be, or something, when the issue must be forced, I've found that eventually, about three, or 10 or 25 minutes after I think they'll give in, they'll actually give in. Don't respond to the begging or the wailing or the tantrum throwing. Just wait. They know what they're supposed to do, and you don't have to validate their stubborn behavior until they do that simple task. And when they do it, praise the hell out of it. Tell them how big they are and how good, and how proud you are of them. My kids really like praise, and it helps them make the right choice earlier next time. You can even say during one of these stand-offs, "It would make me so happy and proud if you would do this." They like that.


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