Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
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I agree, it's very, very typically three. They've discovered that they really can influence what other people do, and they're trying to figure out just how much they can do that! (So, they're a little like power mad dictators for a bit.)
Spend 30 minutes a day where he CAN tell you what to do. He's the leader, you're the follower.
When you offer choices, make them real choices. A 2 year old responds well to "would you like to wear your red pajamas or your blue pajamas?" after they've adamantly told you they do not want to go to bed. 3 year olds are more savvy. They GET that this is a ploy to get them into pajamas. Ask him whether you should eat lentil stew or chicken for dinner. Have him help you plan the menus for the week. Get him involved in doing 'real' chores (dishes, vacuuming, laundry, cleaning the sink, etc.)
If he's extending his efforts to control the world beyond what's reasonable, explain to him what he gets to make decisions about and what you get to make decisions about. I have regular bouts with our ds about who's "in charge". "Who's responsible for making sure your sister is safe?" "That's her job, and it's my job to follow through. It's NOT your job."
Lynn, academic, wife, WOHM to T (4/01) and M (5/04)