I'm hoping some of you can suggest some books or something for gentle discipline of my 2 year old. He is extremely spirited, and always has been. Lately I feel like my version of discipline is backfiring. He constantly says "No" or "I don't want to do X" when I try to get him to do something. I'm not exaggerating when I say constantly, either. He is extremely verbal and definitely has the words to explain when he is upset, tired, hungry, etc., which he does inconsistently. While those things are a trigger some of the time, he's obviously going through a stage where he wants to do everything himself. He has had a tantrum over someone else closing a door, drawer, moving a pillow, putting a blanket on him, changing his diaper, etc., because he wanted to do it himself. So I get that this is a stage. It doesn't really help me get through the hour that it sometimes takes to get him to agree to having his diaper changed or put his shoes on or whatever. Everything I have tried works maybe once or twice but then he just erupts into a chorus of NO!!!! and I end up giving myself a time out just to breathe.
So far, I have tried the following:
-Giving him a choice (Do you want to wear the red shirt or green shirt)
-Trying to give him the language to express his feelings (You're crying because you wanted to keep playing with that toy)
-Explaining why we can/can't do something
-Giving him first/then (First we put on your shoes, then we can go for a walk)
-Time outs in his room where I remain in his sight
-Allowing him to decide to do something (I'm going to wait over here until you're ready to change your diaper. You let me know.)
I am out of ideas. I also feel like I don't have a strategy other than to try all/any/a combination of the above. This isn't working for me, because I feel like I never know which trick to pull out of my hat. I feel like I need to be more consistent but I need a set way to respond for my own sanity. I also become very uncertain and insecure when he escalates his crying because then we are both upset over something like brushing his teeth.
So is there any kind of technique that is still gentle but less abstract? I guess I'm looking for something that gives examples of what to do when your child responds in different ways, sort of like a flow chart of discipline (just kidding, but I hope you get what I mean).