I recieved this email in my box today and I thought I would add my two bits on how it went.
When your toddler falls in love with the word "no," it can feel like you've run straight into a brick wall. Here are some tips from BabyCenter parents on how to get your toddler past "No!" and on to whatever it is you need him to do.
Offer limited choices
Ok Little Girl, you can either stop crying or you can send your dear sweet mommy to the nut house..it's your choice.
Respond with humor
Oh yes, isn't that soooo funny when you throw food all over the wall? Yep..ha ha ha, mommy's laughing while she's scrubbing-----what? These tears? Oh, they're just tears of mirth and happiness..really...continue, please.
Turn tasks into games
Ok time to clean up now! Clean up, clean up, everybody every wh.....what? You want to play with this toy..ok here you go.
Oh you don't want it? Well, I'll just put it away then.
No, no, no...don't cry, it's right here see?
What? You don't want it again? Alright....away it goes then.
Wait, wait... no need for screaming, here you go, have it back.
Oh, come on! Are sure you don't want it? Ok, for the last time its going in the toy box.
Seriously! Throwing a fit gets you no where, Little Girl..Im not playing this game any more!
AAHHHHH! You either take it or put it away, we are supposed to be having fun!
Thats it, who wants a snack?
Use reverse psychology
Don't eat that food on your plate, Little Girl. No you don't...not the veggies! No way! * In my mind : You aren't going to eat one bite of that stuff no matter what I do, are you? Fine, I'll resort to bribery instead.* You can have ice cream if you eat it! Oh and look, right into the mouth it goes!
Get his full attention
Hey, you..little girl. HElloooooo? I'm talking to you! * arm raises..points*
Yes, you. Come over here so I can change that Atom Bomb that just exploded in your pants. No, don't you run away, get over here..now! * arm slightly raises..points to floor in front of shoe*
LITTLE GIRL, I MEAN IT! I know your not deaf.. Hey!! * arms raise over head, wave back and forth vigerously*
Oh yes, laugh it up, its soooo funny to ignore mommy. ( continue to wave if the exercise is needed, if not ( most likely in this case), sit down and order The Man to bring Little Girl to you so you don't have to extend the effort.)
Alright Little Girl, mommy will take a long drink first and then you can have one, ok? * glug, glug,* Here you go baby, your turn. Yes, that is yummy isn't it? It's mommy's favorite! Alright, my turn. Oh my, whats this?....floaties.... hmmm, why don't you just go ahead and drink the rest, ok?
Don't bother to fight it
Fine sweetheart, you go ahead and play with that really sharp knife, its just not worth the fight today. Oh and Im in a good mood, so if you want to stick mommy's bobby pin into the light socket, go ahead. I know you've been wanting to do that for a really long time now....
Take advantage of "Me do it!"
I know you can honey, but you've been " helping" me put the dishes away for an hour now....mommy needs to move on to the laundry. Oh, you want to do that too huh? Well, let me just call My Life and tell it I won't be showing up today.
Help them learn through teaching
See baby, you can just sweep it all under the rug when your done and daddy will never know the difference! And look at all that extra space under the bed! Its a perfect place for all your toys and dirty clothes, its what I do with mine!
Try alternate phrasing
Nada, uh uh, I don't think so, are you serious?, nice try, maybe tomorrow, do you want mommy to have a heart attack?, go ask your dad.
( note: I don't really parent this way, on most days anyway.) ;-)