I don't want to!
I empathise completely with your experiences of bringing up a toddler.
This morning my son James woke up in a terrible mood. He didn't want to do anything and any question he was asked was met with a resounding 'no'.
It's very challenging when you are trying to get ready in the morning, you are up against the clock and your child is throwing a wobbly.
James - in his usual good mood
It's even worse when he tells you "Don't talk to me – I don't like daddy!" You know he doesn't mean it but even so, it doesn't make you feel good.
When he is in this kind of mood, which thankfully is quite rare, my wife and I have realised that there is no point discussing things with him or giving him options.
When he threw his first tantrum, shortly after his second birthday – they're not called the "terrible-twos" for nothing, we made the mistake of giving him choices. "Do you want to do this, or this?" Big mistake which got us nowhere fast.
In the end we realised we have to make the choice for him and tell him what he's doing. This usually leads to a gradual decrease in the level of his anger and in a few minutes he is magically transformed back into a loving little boy. You just have to be assertive and be both gentle and firm so he knows you are in charge.
Very rarely we use what is called the 'naughty step'. If he has been particularly naughty, for example if he hits or bites, he has a 'time out'. This is when he has to sit in a particular place by himself with no books or toys until he apologises. He's only usually there for a couple of minutes before he calms down and says sorry with a cuddle and a kiss.
He's not had many 'time outs' recently which shows that he is learning and is more able to control his behaviour. During his strop this morning he did start to swing as if to hit me, but then he stopped – I think he realised that would have been wrong.
It's still a steep learning curve for me being a dad. I look at my parents with much more regard now as I realise what a tough job it is. But despite the challenges, I wouldn't change it for the world!
to empathise with someone
when you empathise with someone it means that you understand what they are going through because you have experienced it yourself
a resounding 'no'
a definite and strong expression of 'no'
this is a modern way of saying 'difficult' - it's a way of making a negative situation sound like it is a positive thing
up against the clock
running out of time
throwing a wobbly
being extremely angry and upset
a period of uncontrolled anger, usually from a child
expression to describe the period when children are two years old and seem to have more and more tantrums
they're not called --------- for nothing
an expression used to emphasise that something has been described in a particular way for a good reason
to get nowhere fast
to achieve nothing
to be assertive
to express yourself clearly and confidently without showing anger
a period of being in a bad mood
I'd welcome any advice on this topic: How do you deal with an angry or naughty child?