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What do you do when you tell your children to do something and they refuse? We don't expect our children do things beyond their ability. To clean up their toys, put their dishes on the counter or whatever. Sometimes they both flat out refuse. They are almost 4 and 2. Even the two year old can put his dishes on the counter and sometimes does so without being asked. But there are times both don't want to do something they are told to do. Sometimes it gets really frusterating. So, what do you do?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk"><br><br>
what I am trying to do is ask once, nicely (as I would ask another adult) and then either leave the task undone if it's likely to bug the child (Like if the bathing suit is on the floor instead of in the laundry basket, it doesn't get washed, which means the kid gets upset and won't wear the "dirty" suit the next day) or do it myself if it's going to bug me (dirty dishes don't phase them).<br><br>
I have no idea if this is right or not <LOL!>
 

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Playful parenting!<br>
Make an after-dinner train to the counter...loaded up with dirty dishes....All aboard!<br>
Or maybe there could be a funny song that you sing every night while the dishes get cleared.<br>
Make it fun! Play is children's work <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I think that sometimes the things we ask of our children aren't quite as age appropriate as we think. I think it is unreasonable to expect that a 2yo will clean his toys or complete just about any task simply because he is asked. Some will. My oldest child has never, ever told me "No" for any reason. That doesn't mean that he always does what I ask when I ask him to do it, but from a very young age he was very compliant. I thought I was just an amazing parent until my middle child, who is now three, came along. He refuses for the sake of refusing. Sometimes he'll tell me "No!" as he's doing what I ask. Most of the time he just verbalizes his dissent and walks away.<br><br>
If they are refusing on a consistent basis, then I think you are asking too much of them. It seems to go against my 3yo's very nature to do something upon being asked. If I ask him to put away his blocks, something he is physically and mentally capable of doing, and he refuses, I just leave them. If I'm still tripping over them at 10:00 at night, I just put them away. I'll say throughout the day, "Are you ready to put your blocks away yet?" Most of the time he'll put them away at some point. We don't argue about these things. I hear parents arguing with toddlers and it blows me away. I'm run down as it is. If I had to argue with a 3yo every time there were toys left on the rug or crayons left on the kitchen floor, I'd never get anything else done.<br><br>
I think we expect too much submission from our children. Safety issues aside, what is harmed by leaving toys laying around for a while or leaving dirty dishes on the table? It really doesn't take much time for me to take the dishes from the table to the sink. My 7yo does these things without much prodding on my part these days. I don't really believe that if you are relaxed about these things while children are toddlers that you will never be able to expect them to look after themselves in basic ways.
 

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Well I am a little different than some here.<br><br>
Playful parenting is great if you can do it, but for the most part it would drive ME out of my gord.<br><br><br>
Age is a factor. I do think you are expecting too much of a two year old.<br><br>
By 4 though I expect them to do as I ask. And if they don't I use a technique called "active waiting". I just kind of wait with the expression you would have if you are waiting for a bus. It works really well.<br><br>
And those times that they really don't do it. I do it myself if it needs to be done and then say "I had to clean up your toys. I did not like that. It was your job. Next time I expect you to do it."<br><br>
That is it.
 

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At almost-3 I don't expect my DD to help all the time. I will ask her "hey honey, can you pass me a burp cloth?" (while I'm nursing DS). If she does, great, I say "thanks, honey, that was really helpful". If she doesn't, I say "okay, I'll get it myself, but it would be helpful if next time you could do it" and that's it. Said in a matter-of-fact way. I want my child to learn to be helpful because she wants to be, not because she has to be, so I don't make issues out of it.<br><br>
With picking up toys, we started a "rule" that before she plays with one toy, she puts the other away. We have all things in bins so this makes it easier for her. It's not done all the time, but if we are around and she wants to play with something, we remind her. I'd say 9 times out of 10 it's not a problem, because she is just so used to it. On the odd occasion where she refuses, I will do it myself and tell her "I don't like it when I have to pick up the toys all by myself" or something like that. And about 1 or 2 times out of ten, she does it without us even having to ask. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Today I asked my DD, 3.25 to clean up the various toys on the floor while I was on the computer. I don't remember if she said no, or just didn't do it. Sometimes I offer to help, which usually does work, but today I looked at the mess and told her where to start (as in, why don't you put that puzzle together. her response, Ok!), then when she finished that, told her what thing to do next. It worked quite well. Made me think, as I know I have heard someone mention before, that a mess like that can be overwhelming to a child to know how to put away.<br><br>
So in other words, I try to help her find a way to do what I am asking of her. Lately I have really been trying to disengage from a frustrating power struggle that won't make anyone happy. I haven't completely found a way to deal other than to let it go, but getting out of the power struggles was one huge step forward.
 

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We take away privileges when Emma is disobeys or has a bad attitude. She is rewarded or praised when she does obey.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If she doesn't, I say "okay, I'll get it myself, but it would be helpful if next time you could do it" and that's it. Said in a matter-of-fact way. I want my child to learn to be helpful because she wants to be, not because she has to be, so I don't make issues out of it.</td>
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Piglet68 said it very well. We try to be consistent with this sort of matter-of-fact tact with our 21MO son. Sometimes he helps/does things and other times he does not. I believe that in time, he will see that there are just something things we HELP ONE ANOTHER do in our home.<br><br>
And recently, I have started asking if he wants me to "help me" with whatever...and often he nods YES. So I help - and often talk through what I am starting with or what HE can start with so we can work together as a team.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MrsMoe</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We take away privileges when Emma is disobeys or has a bad attitude. She is rewarded or praised when she does obey.</div>
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I guess you aren't a fan of Alfie Kohn's writings? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Seriously though, I'm curious to hear a "behaviourist's" viewpoint. Do you feel that your child is being motivated out of an inner sense of morality and helpfulness, or does there always have to be a consequence for her? Do you find this style of parenting easier? I mean, I've just never gone there because it seems so antithetical to my goals for discipline, but I'd be interested in hearing how it matches with your goals. (and I totally mean this in a respectful way, I'm not intending to slam you!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Piglet68</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess you aren't a fan of Alfie Kohn's writings? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Seriously though, I'm curious to hear a "behaviourist's" viewpoint. Do you feel that your child is being motivated out of an inner sense of morality and helpfulness, or does there always have to be a consequence for her? Do you find this style of parenting easier? I mean, I've just never gone there because it seems so antithetical to my goals for discipline, but I'd be interested in hearing how it matches with your goals. (and I totally mean this in a respectful way, I'm not intending to slam you!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/offtopic.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="offtopic"><br><br>
Piglet, I did just want to say that I am not a fan of Alfie Kohn's writings either. I don't reward or punish my kids (as I think you know). But I think Kohn is off base when it comes to the workplace and rewards. His ideas "sound" good in the workplace, but I read many studies when I was studying industrial psych that pretty much showed him to be off base on this. And this has been my personal workplace experience also. It think rewards are good in the workplace.<br><br>
That being said, home and work are very seperate to me! I don't believe in rewarding or punishing for behavior at home. Mainly because I think punishing is wrong and I don't think rewarding achieves results as well as GD.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>seren</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What do you do when you tell your children to do something and they refuse?</div>
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I look at why they are refusing. I don't normally tell (do we mean "tell them to do something" as in a command?) them to do anything that sounds like an order or command anyway.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">We don't expect our children do things beyond their ability. To clean up their toys, put their dishes on the counter or whatever. Sometimes they both flat out refuse. They are almost 4 and 2. Even the two year old can put his dishes on the counter and sometimes does so without being asked. But there are times both don't want to do something they are told to do. Sometimes it gets really frusterating. So, what do you do?</td>
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I'd say that putting a dish on a counter probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense to a 2 year old. In his mind there's no great reason why the dish needs to be on the counter when it could just as easily be on the floor/table or etc. To the toddler the plate is no longer his issue if he's done with it, KWIM?<br><br>
I think that modeling picking up after ourselves (putting our own things away and talking about why somewhat) helps out, and generally they figure it out. I can also remember telling my toddler/preschooler things like "It looks like you are done with your plate. Would you like me to put in the kitchen for you, or do you plan to take it there when you are finished." Or I would just take it when I was heading that way. I agree that being playful about it helps too.
 

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When I had 2 and 4yo's, I never commanded that they do chores. If there were toys all over, I might say "hey, let's pick these up before they get stepped on" or "oh, we're done eating lets bring our dishes to the sink" or something like that. My kids have always been cooperative, and have never "refused" a request to help out if I ask.<br>
I've always felt that children that age should be focusing on other things besides keeping up with the housework. But then again, I'm not the kind of person who puts housework on high priority either, so that would make sense. :LOL
 

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thanks, maya...that's an answer i can totally respect. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Hope MrsMoe chimes in, too.
 

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I guess for us it depends on whether the requested task falls under their direct responsibility or if I'm asking them to do something "extra."<br><br>
If its an extra thing, like "<i>Can you let the dog out please?</i>" And then they refuse to do it. I take Piglets approach. "<i>Well, I will do it then</i>. <i>But its not convenient for me because I'm doing XYZ to help our family right now, and I really wish you would make an effort to be helpful."</i><br><br>
But if for instance, my child leaves a snotty tissue on the sofa and I remind him to throw it away -- I really expect him to do it. This is a non-negotiable. Nobody else should have to touch his snotty tissue. Generally it is effective to remind him that he needs to do it and why. It is also effective to remind him that "<i>In our family, we each pick up after ourselves</i>." Which is true. And they know its true. Or "<i>I'm not joking with you. Throw it away now, please."</i> Clearing their plate from the table, throwing their dirty clothes in the hamper, putting away their toys and games..... this sort of thing falls under the catagory of "their responsibility." Honestly -- they are so accustomed to doing these things as part of their routine that we don't often run into problems.<br><br>
Once it a great while there will be a consequence. But usually this would only apply if they are dragging their feet with regard to a treat. For example, I don't regularly buy fruit snacks, but my younger son thinks they are the biggest treat on the planet so once in a while I indulge him. The other day he left the empty package on the sofa and after 2 requests still had not thrown it away. Finally I said, <i>"Look, I don't want to pick up your trash for you. Either you throw it away, or its going to be a long time before I feel inclined to buy you fruit snacks again."</i> That got his attention -- And I do think it was fair.<br><br>
Another example of a "consequence" (sort of) is the removal of a distraction. My kids are actually very cooperative - usually. But often if the television is on they zone out and mysteriously loose the ability to "hear" me. If this is the issue, I flip off (actually, pausing the video) the television in order to "help" them out and assure them that I'll turn it back on as soon as they finish the requested task. Usually they come out of their daze and say, <i>"Oh - yeah - sure mom."</i><br><br>
Just to qualify -- Please nobody flame me about the television or the fruit snacks! These are treats -- but they provided good examples. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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When my kids don't do what I ask them to do (which usually involves putting away toys or getting their clothes out of their drawers to get dressed), I mostly just wait them out. I tell them that we won't be doing anything else until they do what I have asked them to do. My kids are 2 and 3 and they are definitely capable of picking up toys and putting them in the toy cabinet, putting their dishes in the kitchen, picking our underwear, shorts, and shirts, etc. Just because they may not want to doesn't mean that they can't, and I am not into having kids who rely on me to do things for them just because they don't want to. I pretty much don't do things for my kids that they can do for themselves. Of course I do favors for them or do something for them just because, but in general, they are expected to do for themselves those things that they can do for themselves. Not performing endless small tasks for them leaves me more time to do fun things with them, like read or do art projects. It also helps preserve my good mood. I have a hard time dealing with distractions, and being sidetracked to get toilet paper off the roll, or get socks from the drawer, or pick up the dropped crayon makes me disoriented and crabby. None of those things is bad on its own, but I have two toddlers, and if I responded to each of their small requests all day long, that's all I'd do. If they ask me to do something that they can do and know they are expected to do, I usually just say, "I'm doing this right now, you can do that yourself or wait for me." Usually they choose to do it themselves.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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I'd say that putting a dish on a counter probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense to a 2 year old. In his mind there's no great reason why the dish needs to be on the counter when it could just as easily be on the floor/table or etc. To the toddler the plate is no longer his issue if he's done with it, KWIM?<br></div>
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To be honest, I don't think it matters whether putting the dish on the counter makes sense to a two year old. I think that kids that age can be taught that putting your dishes on the counter after you eat is just what you do. I think kids that age are certainly capable of having two or three small chores and being expected to complete them when asked simply because that is a way they can contribute to the family. I would explain to my child why the dishes should go on the counter, but I wouldn't be too worried about whether he really understood. I think instilling good habits starts young, and it makes for an easier life for the child AND the family.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If they ask me to do something that they can do and know they are expected to do, I usually just say, "I'm doing this right now, you can do that yourself or wait for me." Usually they choose to do it themselves.</td>
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You find that this works? I try this too, but DD, 3.5, will continue to ask away, I repeat my original statement, most likely more than once, resulting in "elevated speaking tones" and annoyance probably all around (well, I am usually most concerned with my annoyance at that point). It would seem that this *doesn't* work for us, although when she wants to, DD can be quite reasonable, independent, etc.
 

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It works in the sense that I don't (usually!) end up dropping what I am doing to do something for my kids that they can do for themselves. My daughter will occasionally hang around badgering me to do whatever it is she wants me to do. I tell her a variety of things:<br><br>
"I know that you heard what I said."<br><br>
"If you continue to badger me I won't help you at all."<br><br>
"If you need to complain about this, you can go into the other room and complain to yourself."<br><br>
"Do you think that whining is going to change my mind?"<br><br>
"I told you that I would help you when I am done with what I am doing. I am not going to discuss it any more."<br><br>
Then I ignore her. If she continues to badger me, I will, on occasion, make her go to her room.<br><br>
I know that many people here will not agree with this. However, like I said, I don't generally do things for my kids that they can do for themselves. I don't think it's good for them, and I know it's not good for me. If I have to encourage my kids to be capable and self-sufficient against their wills, I do. I do not expect age-inappropriate independence from them. I do, however, expect that they help out in the ways that they can, and one of the ways they can help is not coming to me with an endless stream of small requests that eat up my time and my mood.<br><br>
I remain calm when I speak to my kids (usually!). I tell them that I am doing something else and they can either do it themselves or wait for me. If necessary, I calmly use one of the lines above. Then I ignore them. If necessary, I remove them from the scene of the crime (badgering). Does it always go smoothly? Of course not, but discipline is a process, not a destination.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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my dd is almost 2<br>
but she does enjoy using the NO word and seeing what the power is (even though i have tried to use it sparingly)<br><br>
she does not have very many chores that i ask her to do, and i always help her when she does them, or at least sit with her adn keep her focused.<br><br>
that will change over time to being a more independent thing.<br><br>
however, the big chore type thing she has is putting away her toys<br>
we have a small house, and i can not stand tripping on her toys day and night.<br><br>
so when she is done with something i ask her to put it away before we drag out something else......<br>
luckily, SHE has tripped and fallen on her toys several times<br>
and each time i comfort her and explain, that is why we like to keep our floors clear of toys, noone wants to trip or fall.<br><br>
her dad also once stepped on a favorite toy and broke it!<br><br>
so between those real life examples, i am able to use logic with her, if she resists putting away toys away i can just remind her:<br>
remember the time you fell on your books and hurt your knees? well if you leave the books on the floor that is what will happen, someone will trip and fall and get hurt. etc<br><br>
it works pretty good<br><br>
i also use some playful parenting, but i have to admit, i do not always feel up to that, and life IS NOT one big game, so i do not think i should always have to act like it is.
 
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