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-   -   2.5 YO wont wash hands (http://www.mothering.com/forum/36-gentle-discipline/1361613-2-5-yo-wont-wash-hands.html)

KellyandBean 08-26-2012 06:03 PM

I posted about this on the toddler board but thought i might get more of a response here as well. My DD is 2.5 and just recently has come down with the terrible 2s hah. The latest issue to come up is her refusing to wash her hands. I know little to nothing about how to discipline (guess it is time for me to read a book or two!) and I'm not sure what a good response to the situation would be? I tried doing a toy time out but I'm not sure that was right in retrospect. She chose to get the toy in time out and not wash her hands so i had to wipe them down with a cloth which she wasn't happy about either. The second time it happened my husband was dealing with her and he has a lot less patience so he just forced her to stand on the step stool and washed them for her. Usually i actually do wash them for her (so they get done right) but she would willingly climb up there and hold them under the water at least. Not any more. I feel like i need to have some kind of a action plan for the next time this happens since obviously hand washing is very important and i don't want this to be a daily struggle anymore then it needs to be. I'd love some advice on tactics to deal with the current problem and also some book ideas too so i can do some more planning ahead...TIA!


To-Fu 08-27-2012 05:01 PM

It's probably developmental, so I'd probably roll with it and just do it for her (or wipe her hands with a cloth like you did) and not punish for it.  In my experience, punishments aren't very effective--especially with one so wee! 

 

Good luck. :)


tbone_kneegrabber 08-28-2012 10:42 AM

I would just pick her up and wash her hands. No punishments.

We sometimes do 'airplane'/flying to the sink or other silliness. Silliness works better than punishment any day.

Don't ask just tell her 'time to wash your hands!' if she says 'no' say something like 'do you want to hop like a bunny or fly like a butterfly to the sink?' etc

Nightwish 08-28-2012 11:21 AM

You are disciplining her by being firm, setting limits and showing her that some things are important and need to be done.

 

Discipline doesn't always mean getting the child to obey us cheerfully at our first request. My 7 y/o might sulk and whine when it's time to put away his toys and get ready for bed, but he knows some things are just not negociable.


BellinghamCrunchie 08-28-2012 07:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post

I would just pick her up and wash her hands. No punishments.
We sometimes do 'airplane'/flying to the sink or other silliness. Silliness works better than punishment any day.
Don't ask just tell her 'time to wash your hands!' if she says 'no' say something like 'do you want to hop like a bunny or fly like a butterfly to the sink?' etc

 

Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen is a good read for this age. Life with a child is so much easier and fun when you prioritize attachment over making them do stuff by force or punishment.  She wants control over her own body and this is a good thing; you don't want her to develop ideas that her body is not hers to control all the time, and that an adult that wants to force her body to do this or that has the right to do so. Its frustrating to deal with the resistance and opposition that is typical for this age, but its only for a short while, and as she gets older both you and she will enjoy doing things for each other out of caring and respect, not so much out of a "if I don't do this, she will make me and it won't be pleasant" sort of dynamic.

 

There's so many ways to make what needs to be done fun. Especially handwashing. Splashing in the sink, having a bottle of bubbles nearby to blow into the water and have her pop them, using a foam soap dispenser, the possibilities are endless to make this handwashing thing painless. 



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