I have a 28 month old. I don’t want to call it the terrible twos because she’s just being independent…right? I love that she has a will of her own, but boy, is it ever a challenge to get through everything these days! In the morning, it’s a struggle to pick clothes that are acceptable to both of us. Throughout the day, it’s a (not fun) game trying to get her to pick up her toys.
The other night, I asked her to pick up all her magnetic letters and either put them on the fridge or in the old coffee can. She refused. I then asked her to help me do it. She just sat there and watched me. OK, I know I can’t do it for her because that is just setting myself up for the next 15-20 years of continuing to “do” for her. I decided this was a battle I was going to win and was prepared to do whatever it took to make it happen. Now I had to get tough and tell, not ask, her to do it. She still refused. I wrapped my hand around hers and helped her to pick up each letter and then released her hand making her drop it, but all that did was entertain her. She just thought it was funny. Finally I told her if she didn’t cooperate she had to go to bed. She still refused so I hauled her to the bedroom. She cried and said, “No, no”. When I asked if she would pick up her letters she said she would. I brought her back to the kitchen. When I sat her down she again refused. After going back and forth a couple of times with longer periods of time in the bedroom she finally gave in and picked everything up.
I know this process was significantly more painful for me than for her, but at least I won this round. She’s been a bit better about it this week. Next week, I’m sure there will be a whole new battle. I’d love to find out if anyone has a fun ways to teach kids to pick up after themselves.