So, I’ve been trying a tactic with my toddler. Whenever he does something that he’s not supposed to do, for example, pulling on the curtains, I tell him, in my best stern mommy voice, to stop pulling on the curtains. I add a “please” to the end of my instruction, partly to teach politeness and manners by example and partly because all of my teaching by example has led my four-year-old to become the politeness police. I’d be severely reprimanded if I didn’t finish with a “please” or a “thank-you”.
Once my instruction is given, my toddler then tests me, as all toddlers do. Cue tactic, ignore said testing. If he doesn’t get my attention, he will stop pulling on the curtains and move onto something else (hopefully something he’s allowed to do).
This instruct-and-ignore tactic worked on my daughter when she was that age. And when my daughter is not around, it works with my son.
But when my daughter is around, she takes it upon herself to point out that her brother is not following my instructions. I try to convince her that it doesn’t really matter to me. And since my son is old enough to understand the exchange going on between me and my daughter, he pursues his testing tactic because he is getting some sort of attention.
Guess I’m going to have to find a new tactic.
Anyone else have trouble with an older sibling thwarting tried and true parenting tactics?