Encouraging Your Toddler’s Independence and Redirecting Stubbornness

January 14, 2013  |  

My 18 month old daughter’s name was inspired by – rain, because it’s the life source for all living things. However, too much rain causes flooding, soil erosion, and scary landslides—way more damage than good. Raine, though spelled differently, if given the opportunity, will run wild like most toddlers. Her tantrums pour down. Her desire to always do something leaves babysitters flustered and what ends up happening is a barrage of commands: “No!” No, don’t touch that! No, don’t go over there! And the ever-popular, “No, don’t put that in your mouth!” With so many limitations on what they can do, it’s no wonder my little tyke shrugged me off at the park recently when I tried to keep her out of the bushes.

At this stage she naturally wants to exercise her independence. And she should. She has discovered that she is a separate entity from her mom and dad. However, at this age she has to learn to obey the parents. There are times when we are eating out and the food is super messy, that I take over and offer assistance. What follows is the meltdown.

It makes me wonder, how can parents encourage independence, but still impart limitations and discipline? Balancing the two usually requires very crafty methods.

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