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z-girl 11-17-2003 01:06 AM

DH and I are both frustrated because DD (29 months) keeps yelling "No" at him. She does this at various times- when he's trying to help her and she'd rather that I help, if he touches or moves something of hers (she can be quite persnickety about where things are), etc. It's not usually over major stuff, and if I did what DH did, she might huff for a sec, but she wouldn't scream "No" at me. She and DH have a wonderful, fun, loving relationship- and things go smoothly with them unless she wants me (if she gets hurt, drops something, etc).

I'm not really sure what to do, or what to suggest to DH. He feels like we need consequences for when she does that. He feels that she gets a friendly response from us no matter what she does. When she screams "No" to him, he tells her that he doesn't like to be talked to like that. She knows that we disapprove, but she still does it. What would a natural consequence be? What would an effective approach be? We're open!

Another thing that she does is that she always wants me to pick things up when they fall. Sometimes if I'm right there, I can get her to pick it up herself, or we do it together. But, if DH tries to pick it up, she screams "NO!" and often throws it back down. Lately I've been working on this strategy- if she throws it down, I won't get it for her. I'll help her or be there with her while she does it herself, but I won't just do it.

How do we get past this?


LoveBeads 11-17-2003 12:38 PM

Ya know, it's not everyday that I read a post here that I truly could have written word for word -- but here it is! I have the exact same problem! DD loudly says, "no" to DH all the time! And if she wants something and asks me for it, she throws a fit if DH gets it for her. My DD is 3 1/2 years old.

One thing that I have noticed is that if DD says, "no" to me I can easily get her to change her mind. I don't get rattled when she says it and I can usually get her to comply by just repeating what I asked.

I am looking for a "cure" also - anyone??

sunnmama 11-18-2003 10:05 AM

We have some of these problems, too. Mostly, it is about treating people with respect, IMO.
It is ironic, because this is probably my biggest parenting challenge (teaching dd to treat others with respect even when upset), yet it is also the biggest reason I evolved into a GD parent! (wanting to model/treat dd with respect).

Some things I believe:
-It is ok for a child to have strong feelings and preferences. (wanting Mommy rather than Daddy to do something)
-It is good to honor that preference when practical, but not necessary when impractical (Mommy honestly busy).
-It is ok for a child to be disappointed/angry when things do not go their way.

-It is not ok to scream at anyone.
-It is not ok to throw toys.

When I look at it that way, this issue is largely about teaching our children to handle anger/disappointment appropriately. Maybe labelling those emotions in the moment would help? Tell her to say "I'm angry!" "I wanted Mommy to do it!" instead of screaming "NO!"? I would definitely say that it is Not Ok to yell at Daddy each and every time it happens.
About throwing the our house, toy throwing is not allowed. Thrown toys are removed (not permanently, of course). So that could be a natural consequence in that particular situation.
HTH a little. Like I said, we struggle too. But, like so many things, I don't think there is an instant "cure"--a consequence that will teach a small child to quickly learn self-control and respect. Those things come with maturity (sigh).

Edited to add: It might be helpful to offer her a choice before Daddy tries to help her--something like "Mommy is busy right now. Would you prefer Daddy to help you, or wait for Mommy?" If she honestly would rather wait than have Daddy do it, then let her ::::::. She will be able to do these things for herself soon enough anyway, and will definitely outgrow this rigidness about mommy v. daddy helping.

z-girl 11-20-2003 07:34 PM

Thanks for the ideas. Most of the time it's not something like a toy that DD throws. More like a piece of food that dropped or something. Maybe thrown things should all just disappear for a while.

I do want to honor DD when she expresses a preference respectfully, but I also want her to not shout NO at us. Whenever she is given the choice, she waits for me, even if it's a long time.

I'm sure that this will pass, eventually, but in the meantime, I want to help DD and DH with this.


LoveBeads 11-20-2003 09:19 PM

I liked the suggestions too but unfortunately, they don't really apply to my case. My DD screams "no" at DH for every single thing - not because she is angry or frustrated. I think she does it to get a rise out of him...

z-girl 11-21-2003 01:11 AM

Yeah, I tend to not react to every NO because then I think she does it for the rise. I try to teach lessons, work on stuff like that, etc when DD is fresh and in a good mood, when we're not rushed or distracted or tired. Often now, she knows if she's getting me cranky by me just giving her a look.

I think it's harder for daddies who aren't around as much, or, in our case, a lot of the conflicts are at times that aren't good lesson teaching times- when we're scurrying around to get dressed in the morning, or after dinner when DD is tired and we're getting ready for bed. Sometimes I wish he got to see more of the mellow, middle of the day moods! I think it would be easier on DH and DD.

Anyone have more magic answers?


sleeping queen 11-21-2003 12:50 PM

I've been reading a quite a few posts so help me understand because the logic being taught here doesn't add up. One lady on one of the threads said our children will learn to be respectful if we are respectful to them and model being respectful. z girl I'm not picking on you , but you gave me a wonderful example. If the logic I've been reading is true then, you are either disrespectful to your dh or your disrespectful to your dd. I don't believe either of those are true, you're probably great parents. So I believe you daughter is not being respectful to your dh because he in her eyes doesn't deserve it. He needs to deal with her behaviour and not allow her to talk that way to him. You should not intercede between the two of them. She will learn to conquer and divide. Actually the next time she act awful to her dad I would make her sit on dad's lap while he explains she will not behave that way and let her sit until she quits being naughty and will sit nicely with dad.

sunnmama 11-21-2003 04:04 PM

Originally posted by sleeping queen
I've been reading a quite a few posts so help me understand because the logic being taught here doesn't add up. One lady on one of the threads said our children will learn to be respectful if we are respectful to them and model being respectful. z girl I'm not picking on you , but you gave me a wonderful example. If the logic I've been reading is true then, you are either disrespectful to your dh or your disrespectful to your dd.
"will learn to be respectful"--the future tense is important!
She is 2, she is acting 2, and she will learn to be respectful with maturity, a good example, and gentle guidance. Yes, she will

"make her sit on dad's lap while he explains she will not behave that way and let her sit until she quits being naughty and will sit nicely with dad."

That, IMO, would not be respectful to *her. And, as such, would be counter-productive. It may work in the short-run to stop the undesirable (but developmentally appropriate) behavior, but it will not help her in the long-run to understand how best to deal with negative feelings, and how best to change the negative behaviors of others.

z-girl 11-22-2003 01:01 AM

OUCH! Geez, I didn't realize that helpful advice would be calling my daughter BRATTY! I dare say that she's being a 2 year old exhibiting less than desirable, but probably natural and normal, behavior.

I do try to let DD and DH work things out between themselves, but I have no plan to force her unwillingly into his lap. (Besides, how ironic, Sleeping Queen, that you suggest that I make her sit on DH's lap. That sounds exactly like interceding!)

In our home, we talk about things both individually and as a family because this is an issue that impacts all of us. To me, a solution only will work if it involves each of us respecting each other.

Jennifer Z 11-22-2003 02:19 AM

I don't really have any answers, but calling a child who is acting age-appropriate (or even not age-appropriate, for that matter) a brat really bothers me. sleepingqueen, you really need to learn a new language....energetic, persistent, spirited...things with more positive connotations than "bratty" that describe some of these behaviors. If we change our language, it helps change perceptions and helps to nurture a child's sense of self to be more positive.

Ok, rant over.

Now, to the OP. Like I said before, I don't know if this will help, but I honestly think it is a stage. Both of the behaviors you described...everything having it's place & everybody has their specific jobs, are closely related and as your child gets her world ordered, she will probably relax a bit in her rigidity. Ok, that was no help. Kid's seem to go through varients of "one parent can do no right, one can do no wrong (and they switch places regularly) throughout their childhoods, and this is probably a part of this too. I know the daddy's in these situations are probably a combination of hurt and angry, and it is VERY frustrating.

I sincerely think that restraining a child to try and "teach them to behave" is probably counterproductive. It sounds like you need to try to diffuse the power struggle, not take it to the next level.

Maybe you can start by trying to get her to say "no" softer. Then see if you can get them to be generally calmer so that you can elicite from them what they are really feeling instead of the automatic defensive stance (because you are "attacking" their sense of how the world is supposed to work...where a thing is supposed to be, who's job something is) and get a dialog started on a solution. (sorry about the massive run-on sentance). I don't know if they are verbal enough to help with solutions yet, but maybe if you get them to talk and give them some choices it would help. I imagine that isn't the best solution all the time, simply because it is time-consuming, but maybe it will help lessen it.

Let me know if it is just a few months younger.

rainsmom 11-22-2003 04:05 PM

I found some great suggestions RE: consequences in the book "Kids are worth it". Ive seen this book suggested elsewhere in this forum, just wanted to recommend it here. I found it at the library.....cant remember the author.

emmalala 11-22-2003 04:39 PM

I agree with a previous poster, most of this is going to be about dh & dd figuring out how to deal with each other.

Natural consequences: well, maybe something like when she yells at dh, he does not help her and neither do you. You can explain to her (probably not right when it is happening) that nobody likes being yelled at, that words work better, that it hurts dad's feelings and ears, and it hurts yours too. Those things are the truth.

If she is young enough to just deal with the idea that yelling doesn't produce results, then that might work.

Also, you might want to review what yelling does for you adults - if it is something that works for either you or dh, she may be picking up on that.

Yes she is at an "interesting" age! I have one just the same age. Some of it you can let go by, just call it the age, but basic respect for other people is a good thing to be concerned about and work on.

Dragonfly 11-22-2003 05:36 PM

Originally posted by rainsmom
I found some great suggestions RE: consequences in the book "Kids are worth it". Ive seen this book suggested elsewhere in this forum, just wanted to recommend it here. I found it at the library.....cant remember the author.
Barbara Coloroso . It's becoming my bible these days..... (yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have entered the 3s.....)

zipworth 11-22-2003 06:20 PM

Sleeping queen, it all depends on the kind of household you want to live in. Maybe you want to live in a household where there are immediate 'consequences and the parent controls the children. In this environment children are often afraid of the parents, and do what the parents want out of fear, not because they truly understand the 'reasoning behind the rules. The OP probably wants to treat her child in a manner that she would like to be treated when she is learning something new. This comes from the standpoint that children are inherently good, not 'bad' or bratty. They are social creatures (Liedloff,1975) who want to please the adults around them inherently. If you don't believe this primary principle of GD, then none of this would make any sense to you anyway, KWIM ?

I think the original poster wants results that will be long-term and respectful to the child, who is too little (and egocentric) to understand other people's perspectives yet. The difficult part is teaching her empathy for her father, but at the same time respecting her feelings as a unique human being. Forcing her to sit on her daddy's lap will not teach her to be 'nicer' to daddy, it will probably make her resent him. She is too young to make that jump in logic.

Here are my suggestions:

1) More Daddy and DD one on one time, when she is in a good mood. This will help the two of them develop thier relationship, and hopefully DD will see her daddy as worthy of assisting her:LOL .

2) When she screams no at daddy, have daddy tell her how he feels when she screams at him. Give her an example of another way she could speak to daddy, (ie: No thank you Daddy or I want mommy) Without screaming of course. The first couple of times follow through on her wishes immediately if she is polite to daddy, to reinforce her politeness. After she becomes better at remembering not to scream "NO" everytime her daddy tries to help her you could delay helping her until you are done being busy.

3) Tell her something like, "In our house we don't scream at each other. It hurts people's ears and daddy feels (sad, frustrated) when you scream at him.

4) When she is older you could try role playing, where you pretend to be dd and you model appropriate ways of saying no to someone without being disrespectful.

IMHO you don't teach a child to be respectful of other human beings by being disrespectful to them. If someone forced me to sit on the lap of someone (even if it was my darling dad) I would be bitter and not receptive to anything they had to say.

pamelamama 11-22-2003 07:52 PM

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pamelamama 11-24-2003 05:32 AM

~edited again for violations of the user agreement~

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