my dd is 3 and has a firecracker personality - we manage by always giving a choice - normally do you want the blue or red shirt etc. But yes sometimes the choice is do you want to get dressed and go to school or do you want me to dress you and carry you to school crying? I'm not proud of it but my dd also responds well to the ok well you stay home by yourself and I'll go to school thing, - works in a multiple variety of situations.
The most succesful thing is the 1,2 3 approach, ie: please stop watching tv to do..,
i asked you to stop watching tv, If I ask you again I'm turning it off,
tv turned off. No punishments ever - but relatable consequences - if there isn't a logical consequence then I really question if there is a need to intervene at all.
I think also at some point you have to accept that pc or not - you are the parent and the leaders of the household and things need to be done, and just do them even if there is a back drop of crying. I made it very clear to my dd from birth pretty much that she will never be made to do anything that wasn't essential so if I'm telling her it has to be done then i mean it. (ie you must bath at least once a week, but daily would be better or you must wash your hair before going to the hairdresser)
So far we haven't had to use time out. I am not an "alpha mom" , I don't hit and I don't yell - but I do have a tone, and facial expression that lets her know that while her opinions are considered very helpful, I have the final say.
oh i forgot to add - I really do pick my battles - I have very low expectations of behaviour and I'm forever amazed at how well she does. My first thought is always - approach with kindness, we go from there...
Edited by moving toward - 4/23/13 at 7:39pm