DS is 3.5 and generally a pretty good listener. However, he does have those age-appropriate moments when he can't seem to stop himself from doing what he's been asked not to do. Lately, it's been really frustrating, and he's been arguing and backtalking a LOT. (For example, he's trying out the word "stupid" and called me that the other day. I told him that wasn't a very nice thing to say, and he said, "Yes it is." I told him I didn't want to be around someone saying mean things and that he'd have to go to his room where I can't hear him if he wanted to continue saying it. Now ever since, he'll just say, out of the blue, "That's not nice. Go in your room." He's testing...)
Just now, he was playing with a toy and started banging it on the wood table. I reminded him that we don't bang on the furniture, and he didn't stop. So I said (a little louder and more firmly), "Stop now or I will take it away." Before I could even finish that little sentence, he said, "You know what? Go in your room." Then he continued with that kind of thing, refusing to listen to me, and basically digging himself a hole. It basically escalated, and of course I realize I shouldn't have engaged, but what do you do in that situation? I engaged by explaining that I simply wanted him to stop banging on the furniture, and he went completely rude and disrespectful on me. I don't take that kindly. I lost my temper, and he went crying into his room. I called him back in, told him I never sent him to his room, and to start listening to me. Then I explained AGAIN that we don't bang on furniture. End of discussion. He went voluntarily into his room. Fine, he's allowed. But then he started crying that he wanted a hug. I told him that he could come out and get one anytime he wanted, as I hadn't put him in his room to begin with. Then he ASKED if he could come out. I repeated that of course he could, b/c I never told him to go in there in the first place. He came, got his hug, and asked if he had to go back in his room. OMG, REALLY??? He has no special needs that I know of, and his teachers at preschool have never expressed any concern over his intellect or development.
What do you even say to that? I asked him if I told him to go to his room, and he nodded. I said, no, YOU went on your own, right? No.
I know better than to argue with a 3-year-old, but what do you even say in these circumstances?