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Wits end. Please help.

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2018 at 1:52 PM
  • 2 Replies
My delayed almost 3 year old doesn't have many words. He's delayed cognitively, and in speech. He seems about a year or more younger than he really is. Since he can't talk, it's obviously hard to understand what he wants/needs. He seems to understand me well. If he doesn't like what I have to say he tells me no. He tells me no so often I'm really starting to get angry. For example: he just asked for chocolate milk by saying "hot cocoa". I said later, he said No! And threw a ball at me. Basically, anything I need him to do, his response is a dirty look and the word no. How do I get him to stop telling me no. I can spank his butt, tell him to talk nice, be kind, don't tell me no, tap his mouth, time outs, rewards, take away toys... he cries but will continue to tell me no seconds later. He is my 4th child and a level of stubborn I've never seen. I have worked in childcare for many years and have a teaching degree. I just can't handle this level of disrespect even from a toddler. This has been going on for a year now and it needs to stop. Please help.
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by on Jan. 16, 2018 at 1:52 PM
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tigerlil97
by Member on Jan. 18, 2018 at 10:37 PM
The whole "no" phase is almost always a toddler trying to have some control over their own life when grown ups have all the power. Try to give him as many choices throughout the day as possible, but you get to set the choice up. For example, "we're all getting dressed! Do you want to pick the red shirt or the blue shirt today? Which will you choose?" and, "oh, great! Eggs and toast for breakfast! Do you want butter on your toast? Do you want me to cut it up for you?" Make a big deal validating the choices he makes. "Nice choice! I looked the blue one too." Usually if they get to make a bunch of choices they feel like they have a little bit of control of their own life, and they don't fight you quite so hard during those times when there is no choice.

Also, has he hit the age yet where some of the "no" is about wanting to do it for himself? I use the 1, 2, 3 magic all the time with my kids. I try to lift them into the car seat, it's"no" because he wants to climb up by himself. But then he's wandering all around the car instead of getting in. So, "okay hon. I'm going to count to three. If you don't get in the car by the time I count to three, I am going to move your body for you." Count slowly to give them a chance. If they don't do it, follow through on whatever you said you were going to do. The first couple times they cry, but then they get the picture. At this age (my twins are 2.5) I'm using it about 5 times a day!

Anyway, good luck and hang in there. You will make it through!
Fredrica2
by on Jan. 20, 2018 at 12:05 PM

I think giving him choices is a wonderful strategy. It must be very frustrating to have him respond with "no" consistently. I also think that providing verbal praise would be reinforcing for him when he gives an appropriate response.I do wonder if there is a possible speech delay and if "no" is one of the only words that he is able to say. That would be something that I would want to rule out and monitor. If you suspect that there is a speech delay, you want to consider having him evaluated by a speech-language pathologist.

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