Saturday, February 15, 2014


I sent out a tweet a couple days ago:

I should probably clarify a bit: Tadpole is not quite 3. She's going to be defiant, and I suspect that anyone who's got a secret to fixing that has better things to do than give Twitter advice.

What I'm really trying to figure out is how I respond to Tadpole's defiance.  The defiance of a three year old isn't something that can be reasoned with (much, although it's more possible than it was), and since her goal is usually to get a reaction from daddy, my anger and frustration don't have much of an impact besides encouraging her.  As so many parents before me have learned, I'm basically helpless in the face of a cheeky three year old.  My frustration and anger are coming from this helplessness, not what she's doing.

For other difficult interactions, I've built myself a script.  Crying baby? Start swaying and bouncing.  Fall/other hurt: hold her and ask where it hurts (because if she can show me, things are probably mostly OK). Don't want to wrap up an activity: set a timer on the phone, and end things when the timer goes off (Tadpole has learned to react well to timers)

Defiance? I have no idea.  Sometimes she's holding something/in the midst of potty so there's some urgency to restraining her, but often she's just in her head, looking to provoke a reaction from daddy because that's one of many fun activities.

Haters gonna hate, and three-year-olds are going to grin cheekily, look at the roll of toilet paper, look back at you, and unroll the whole roll because they know they're not supposed to.  That's not behavior I can control.  My response is something I can control.  What that response will be, I still have no idea.  Advice on that?

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