As a baby your child was happy to follow your lead. But now that he’s a toddler he realizes that he doesn’t have to stay by your side, let you change a dirty diaper, or do pretty much anything else you ask. Take a bath? How about I just run around naked and squealing? Eat one more carrot? No, I think I’ll toss it on the floor, along with my turkey meatballs and this fork right here.
As maddening as his defiance may be, it’s also a positive sign of his development. “Kids this age see themselves as separate beings from their parents, free to make their own decisions,” says Tovah Klein, Ph.D., author of How Toddlers Thrive. Your child is also gauging what he can (and can’t) get away with. These tactics will encourage his cooperation while also helping you keep your cool during this challenging stage. Read more