"St it feels like dd makes absolutely no concessions, its either her way or the highway!"
I suspect that this is the way it is for kids- parent's way or no way at all. And the kids don't have a choice, dependent as they are on parents for shelter and food and love and life.
Why can't a kid play at a park without shoes and shirt? I see this all the time. If child feels cold or wants protection for feet if walking on stones or whatever hurts, parent has the clothes for hir to put on.
As lovely as working together towards mutual ends can be, cooperation cannot be forced (sorry if I'm stating the obvious
). Figuring out what each person wants, and finding a way for both/all to get that, helps everyone feel respected and valued and imo will make each problem-solving situation more likely to be a cooperative experience. People will want to participate, when they know that their wants/needs are going to be considered on an equal footing as everyone else's, regardless of age or power.
Learning to act in one's own best interest is a powerful motivating factor in life, and the best interests in which to act, imo. A person must see the sense of washing hands and brushing teeth. It is not necessarily true that if a person does not wash their hands after using the toilet or brush their teeth every time they eat, they will suffer dire consequences. Parents likely follow these routines, and talk about why they do so with their children as they grow. Children like to imitate, and so practice doing these things in their own way, in their own time. By forcing the issue, I think a parent does more harm than good. It is possible to convince a child that washing hands at appropriate times and brushing teeth are in their own best self interest, and to do so non-coercively.
If a child doesn't want to wash their hands, and the parent is totally grossed out by this, this is the parent's problem, not the child's. A parent can recognize this, and work on improving their theories- but in the meantime, they might be able to find some fun involvement with water and soap in the kitchen or the back yard that would satisfy the parent and child.
The teeth thing- believe me, I've had huge issues with this. In researching, I've come upon a lot of information about stuff like decay in baby teeth not needing to be treated necessarily, but watched in combination with as much cleaning as possible and offering such foods as actually help clean teeth and adjust the PH balance of the mouth to discourage cavity formation (like cheddar cheese) and chew sugarless gum and swish out a mouth with water. It seems that it is the luck of the draw, to a large extent; some people can eat lots of sugar and hardly clean their teeth and still not get cavities, whereas others can clean their teeth scrupulously and avoid sugar and still get cavities.
Lucy again:" However she would not do it untill I told her, "Yes yoiu need to do that now" "
So the message is, even though you don't want to, you have to anyhow... because why? Because children have to learn that there are things they have to do whether they want to or not? I think we are agreed that it is a good idea to wash at certain times, but how to convince a child and respect their autonomy? What if a parent responds to a child who doesn't want to do something, "I think you are making a mistake. There are good reasons for doing X. Do you want to know what they are?" "It is your body and it is up to you how you take care of it. Do you want to take the chance of transferring bathroom germs to your mouth and maybe getting sick? Or to someone else?" and launch into a story about Typhoid Mary
Child might listen to this from parent, if they are accustomed to getting good information from parent, and be persuaded. Or they might just want to go do what they want to do and be left alone. Shouldn't that be respected? If a child is forced, and builds up resentment and faulty theories, arent' they likely to not wash/brush at times when they can get away with that? When they do avoid doing what parent wants them to do, they are not getting the benefit of the washing/brushing, just as they don't get the benefit if they decide on their own not to do it, on occasion, and that is respected. If not coerced, they can continue to learn and think about it, and are likely to reach a place where they are glad to do the washing/brushing because it make sense to them. They will not be 40 yr old adults, forcing their selves to wash/brush with a bad feeling in their minds; they will feel good about taking good care of their selves.
Does this make sense?