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What's your biggest struggle with your toddler?

Posted by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 4:28 PM
  • 16 Replies

3 Common Reasons Toddlers Refuse To Wear a Coat & How to Deal

toddler in coat

With the weather outside so frightful, few problems are less delightful than a toddler who refuses to wear his coat. You're like: Come on! It's freezing out, and we're late to an appointment. Your toddler is willing to go -- that's something at least -- but insists on no coat no matter how much you beg and plead. You consider wrestling your toddler into one, but unless you staple it on, your toddler is completely capable of tearing it right back off. It's enough to make any mom think Fine! Freeze your butt off. But then again, a cold, miserable toddler would just compound your already bad day.

While toddlers can't always explain their reasons for not wanting to wear a coat, there are many possibilities that parents should consider in an effort to alleviate their daily battles:

1. Your toddler truly is too hot. Even if you're cold, toddlers may not be as they tear around the playground. "Unlike adults, toddlers have a thick layer of brown fat just beneath their skin that with both insulate them and can burn calories just to generate heat," explains Scott Carroll, MD, professor of child psychiatry at the University of New Mexico's School of Medicine. And if you force your toddler to wear a coat anyway, a toddler will start to associate the coat with being uncomfortable, and resist wearing it even when he really should.
: Try not to bundle them up too soon—in the season, or even before you leave your house. "Leave the coat unzipped until they have been outside for a while," suggests Carroll. "That way, they'll zip it when they're cold and start to associate the coat with being comfortable." In the car, keep your toddler's coat off and just cover your child with it until you emerge; cars warm up fast and can make a child in a coat too hot. Or if you're outside and wondering if your toddler could truly be comfortable, check out this handy government-vetted temperature guideline chart for kids.

2. The coat is uncomfortable for some other reason. Heat may not be the only reason toddlers and coats don't always mix. Tags or strangely-textured linings inside the coat may also be irritating, and if the coat is puffy, a toddler may not appreciate how it restricts his movements.
: Try cutting out tags, and having your child wear coats made of different materials and levels of puffiness (maybe trade with another parent so it doesn't cost anything and see if that helps). In the car, always keep your child's coat off -- this isn't just to make your child feel cooler or more comfortable in the car seat, it's an important safety measure that could save his life.

More from The Stir: The Important Winter Car Seat Safety Rule You're Probably Breaking & Why You Must Stop Now (PHOTOS)

3. Your toddler is making a power play. "At this stage, toddlers are trying to take control of themselves and their environment, and this a completely normal part of their development," says Kelly Tonelli, Psy.D., a psychologist in Irvine, CA. "They will battle to the end. Parents need to choose their battles, and physical safety is an important battleground."
: Should you refuse to leave the house if your child refuses to wear a coat? "That's a tough one," Tonelli admits. "Kids are smart. If they realize they can get out of going somewhere by refusing to wear a coat, they will. Use this one only if staying home will deprive them of something they really want -- and you are willing to give it up."

Another tactic? Just bring the coat and wait for your toddler to ask you for it. Or, even sneakier, go ahead and give your toddler what he wants -- control -- but over something other than whether to wear a coat. Instead, give him a say over which coat he'll get to wear: i.e., "OK, Henry, it's time to go to the store. Do you want to wear your red jacket or your blue one?" That way, you both get what you want -- and out the door -- without fighting an epic battle every time.

What's your biggest struggle with your toddler?


Image © Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto/Corbis

by on Jan. 6, 2015 at 4:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on Jan. 6, 2015 at 11:44 PM
Recently, my little one has decided climbing up the chairs in the kitchen and standing on the table is the way to go. I have had to lock all the chairs in the bathroom so she can't get to them. It's agitating.
by on Jan. 7, 2015 at 2:14 PM
1 mom liked this

My daughter is going through a terrible "I don't like that." phase with EVERYTHING. Clothes, food, chores, etc.... Everything is a fight with her and ends up taking us ten times longer because I'm sorry but I'm NOT letting my almost-3 year old rule this house! It's the simplest things and she needs to learn to obey and respect. I give her plenty of options when it comes to some things but all-in-all what I say goes. 

by on Jan. 7, 2015 at 3:06 PM
1 mom liked this

getting her to sleep in her own bed

by on Jan. 7, 2015 at 8:31 PM
1 mom liked this
Getting her to pick up her toys! She always says no or says she is too tired and tells me to do it..lol

Just listening in general. Def the terrible 3. Way worse than 2!
by Member on Jan. 7, 2015 at 10:51 PM
Potty Training! And he turned 4 yesterday :/
by Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Climbing and taking things. 

by New Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 3:08 PM

 potty training...its so hard shes two and a half and refuses to anything except just sit on the potty. she wont actually go potty:/

by Bronze Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 9:41 PM
1 mom liked this

My two year old is just extremely stubborn. Most of the time I am okay with it because she is very bright and she learns quickly. It is also much easier to allow her to experience the consequences for something than to constantly battle her over it. The one thing that she does do though that drives me crazy is picking up her 9 month old sister. She is always trying to pick her up and carry her around.

by New Member on Jan. 8, 2015 at 10:55 PM

One of my biggest challenges would be when my 2.5 year old interrupts because she does not want me or my husband to have a conversation. Any suggestions? I thought maybe she might feel left out. How has anyone else dealt with this sort of thing?

by on Jan. 8, 2015 at 10:59 PM
With my three year old everything is a struggle! He is very smart & extremely independent. I'm still learning how to work with this. Everything can turn into a power struggle if I approach it the wrong way.
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