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22 month old strong willed child, how do I punish her

Ok so she is a type a strong willed child and I do not know what to do with her and her punishments. She isn't bad everyday but when she is man is she bad. She doesn't like going to sleep some nights and just lays there and plays in her bed so we take away all her toys and then she will just sit and talk to herself for hours. We also have issues with her wanting to finish her dinner she will just chew and chew but wont swallow it. I have tried little spanks on the bum and time outs but I don't know if there is something else that will help. I also don't know if her not completely talking yet has some issue with all this. She tries but can't prenounce the words completley and gets irritated when she is trying to tell me something and I am not getting it. Any suggestions would help thank you.

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Asked by Harlee.myLove at 1:12 PM on Jan. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • My son has tested me with his own will as well.. and I would just be very consistent.. about putting her in time out.. Sometimes you gotta find things that she doesnt like(discipline wise) like my son HATES sitting in time out and spanks if its hard enough.
    As For her laying in bed.. just let her lay in bed and talk to herself.. she might just be an early night owl.
    The food though.. I would have your husband jump in and get a good deep tone with her and tell her to eat her food.. and if she wont maybe just take her food away.. and im not saying to starve her but let her get hungry and if you notice she gets crankier them usual she may be hungry and then feed her.. She well learn her lesson not to just chew her food.

    I hope this helps.. if not let me know. A few good books to read for dicipling is
    "Withhold Not Correction" Bruce A Ray
    Sheperding a Childs Heart" Tedd Tripp..

    Answer by UAFwife at 1:18 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • I cannot understand disciplining a child over falling asleep. Hitting a cat with a stick, yes, but falling asleep?? How could she possibly control that - even if she were 12 she couldn't MAKE herself go to sleep. (Just ask any adult or teen with insomnia) She IS lying in her bed for long periods of time - that is INCREDIBLY obedient of her! And as to spanks over controlling what she is swallowing - that is a hazardous road to travel: LOTS of eating disorder research there. ...

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:22 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • A baby is all Will-as in willpower. To handle his monumental tasks(learning EVERYTHING: to crawl, to be upright, to walk, what each thing he sees or hears IS, how to use his hands…), he HAS to have a powerful will. He has no control over this Will like we adults do. If his attention is caught by something, he truly NEEDS to grab it.This is how his brain is building its intelligence. As his mom, you want to help him do this ALL day long. Think of yourself as feeding his genius and his emotional health with your constant help. (As mom and preschool teacher I’ve known hundreds of children. Every child is a genius unless they are blocked by adults.) Sometimes it isn't safe for him to grab a thing. So you don't PREVENT him or snatch him away from the object of his focus. You introduce something more interesting and sneak the problem out of sight.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:25 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • And the Will is a force independent of the child's self: she cannot control it any more than she can control her digestion.

    Before the age of 3 or 4 the will-impulse is in command of the child’s actions. That's why it is laughable when you see a parent stringently adjuring a young child NOT to TOUCH! something. The more emphatically they press the child about it, the more strongly are they energizing that very gesture in the child’s Will.

    Watch a little one reaching to do something they should not do. You can see that they are aware it is forbidden. And they are looking right at you as they reach. At this moment, how unfortunate to imagine that they are like an adult, in control of their hand or foot. I often hear with sadness ...(cont'd)

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:25 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • ... a mother relating a "battle of wills" with her child: "… I was talking to my friend and he was looking right AT me when he did it! Just CHALLENGing me to stop him! I sharply told him NO! , but he DEFIED me and did it anyway. So I HAD to give him a spanking for it . . ."

    Of COURSE he's looking right at her! He's under the compulsion of his baby-stage will, helpless to resist it. He is afraid of her anger, he is hoping for her help, but all he can do is look on while the will impulse carries itself out. Once the idea has caught his attention - perhaps it was something he saw someone do, or an object that attracted his eye - it has a life of its own. ...

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:25 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • To decide that he is setting himself up against her, trying to defy her . . . to view her child as an enemy combatant in that way … is sad. And it becomes tragic as the child grows up bereft of a mother who is supportive and happy with him. She distorts all her interactions with her child by adopting the attitude that he is opposing her.

    If you haven't already come across it, check into attachment parenting - so many shared stories about happy family customs ... a happy child is rarely troublesome. I say this with confidence from my own three children, from years of working with children andespecially from my years of preschool teaching: we had NO punishment/time out policies - because we had no need to punish. We stayed ahead of the chlidren's needs and they were mostly happy.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:26 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • A further thought about being controlling about making her swallow:
    Avoid at all costs any battle of wills.Relax and take away any pressure or focus on it as if it were a problem. That just knots up her tummy! I watched my sister-in-law with her first child: lots of rules "if you don't eat your broccoli, then no dessert!" all the way to having him sit endlessly at the table:"have just one bite, then you can leave the table" He is now 12, and to this day they struggle and plead with him. His younger siblings are no problem. Forcing a child to eat is just not good on several levels(eating disorders; her ability to feel safe around you; etc.). Health experts recommend eating 5 or 6 times a day, anyway. So put out foods that are attractive to her, let her pick at what she wants from a side plate so that there is NO pressure about what she is taking into her OWN body (see how control issues, invasion issues enter in?) ACCEPT her!

    Answer by waldorfmom at 1:37 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

  • My DD is very strong willed too. She is also very verbal and can say that she isn't sleepy, isn't hungry, whatever. She sleeps wonderfully though, so no complaints there. She won't hardly eat dinner though, makes a mess of her plate and then shoves it away. So, when she does that, we take her plate, put it in the fridge and then reheat it if she decides she is hungry later. You really can't win an arguement with a toddler over food or sleeping. She doesn't get her way, but she knows that she'll be eating her dinner for "snack" if she doesn't finish it at the table. I am not a "clean your plate" Mom though. She'll eat when she's hungry...eventually, lol. Patience, patience, patience.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:08 PM on Jan. 29, 2009

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