I see many mamas on here say they 'just expect' that their children will do A, B, C, or that they 'don't give them a choice.'
What are the logistics of this?
I have an almost-4 year-old who this morning did not want to get dressed for preschool. I tried being funny (hokey pokey), bringing her clothes, encouraging her to choose her own clothes, telling her what a big girl she is and so good at getting dressed by herself, could she show me what a good job she does at getting dressed, etc. No dice. Eventually I said I had to go to work and she had to go to school and she was going to get dressed now. Then we had a huge tantrum. I physically dressed her (I am barely capable of this, she is big and strong), after which she removed all the clothing while continuing to scream.
Eventually DH stepped in and played the nice guy, and I left for work. If he had not been present I would have re-dressed her, dragged her screaming out to the car and strapped her in her seat with no shoes or jacket on, and let her calm down on the way to school.
This seems extreme and not what I picture when I hear I should just be able to 'expect' her to get dressed in the morning. Also I will not be able to physically do this for much longer. I can only barely do it now. (This is not an everyday occurrence - it was more frequent when she was two but now it is only once in a while. But there are other times when she flatly refuses to do something that I need her to do, and somehow I don't see her growing out of this in general.)
My question is, what are the nuts and bolts of 'setting an expectation' or 'not giving a choice' to a child that do not involve a wrestling match?
Edited by mambera - 2/13/13 at 11:11am