The child challenges you: 10 tips to better manage his provocations

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Does your 3/4-year-old refuse to leave a friend's house after an afternoon together, ignore your requests to put away his toys and keep pushing them down the stairs, despite your yelling? Does it seem that you ignore you, that you don't listen even if you scream? Because that's how he became provocative to you?

If your child is in preschool age, is less dependent on you than he was as a child, and now has a stronger and more secure identity. Hence, he may develop a rebellious streak. "The challenge is how a preschooler asserts himself," he explains to Susanne Ayers Denham, professor of psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

1 - Be understanding.

When you ask your 3-4 year old to come and eat, he yells "Not now!" and then he cries when you force him to go to the table, he tries to put you in his shoes. Give him a hug and tell him you know it's hard to leave his friends and his games, but that lunch is ready and you have to go. The idea is to show the child that instead of being part of the problem, you're on his side. She tries not to get angry, be kind but firm and purposeful.

Read also: how to teach children about limits according to the Montessori method

2 - Set limits.

Preschoolers need - and also want - gods limits, then set them up for his sake. Explain things to him so that he understands: "If you are angry, don't beat up your friends but tell them you want your games back", or "Remember, you must always keep my hand in the parking lot." If your child has trouble following the rules (like any child), he works on solutions. For example, if he hits his little sister because he feels left out of you, he finds a way for him to have his "special time" with you. If he gets out of bed because he's afraid of the dark, give him a light to keep on the nightstand.

Read also: why it is important to give rules to children

3 - Reinforce positive behavior.

Rather than paying attention to your baby only when he is misbehaving, make sure that his or her parents are also noticed positive behaviors. A simple "Thank you for hanging up your coat" or "You were good at sharing games with your sister" will encourage him to continue along this line.

4 - Criticize the behavior, not the person.

When tempted to scold him out loud, make sure your words refer to the wrong behavior and don't be critical of your child as a person. So avoid saying phrases like "You're so clumsy" or "You always get in trouble." This is because "when a child behaves badly, he already feels bad," explains Jane Nelsen, author of a series of books called Positive Discipline. "Where does the idea come from that, in order for children to behave better, we must first make them feel worse?".

5 - Teach him to control himself.

Also remember that disciplining your preschooler doesn't mean controlling him, it does teach him to control himself. The punishment may cause him to behave well in the short term, but only for fear of being punished again. It is much better for your child to do the right thing because he really wants it, because it makes the day better for him or it makes him feel good.

6 - Use i time-out positively.

When you see your child hurt and ready to "blow" like an angry kitten, stop everything and help him calm down. Take him to a comfortable sofa or to his favorite corner of the bedroom where he can calm down and calm down.

Also read: 7 tips for dealing with children's whims

7 - Strengthen your baby.

Give him a way to make his choices ed exercise its autonomy. Instead of asking him to wear the jeans of your choice, let him choose from the pair of jeans you have already selected. Ask him if he wants peas or green beans for dinner, and which of the two stories to read before bed. Try to tell him what he can do instead of what he can't do. Rather than saying "Don't use the ball at home!", Say, "Let's go out and play soccer." If he wants an ice cream cone before dinner, tell him he can have one after eating.

8 - Choose your battles.

If your preschooler wants to wear a green striped sweatshirt with orange striped shorts, what's wrong? If you want waffles for lunch and peanut butter and jam for breakfast, is that really that important? Make one selection on the really fundamental things and on which you do not want to compromise, and on the more "superficial" ones, close one eye.

9 - Distract and should.

Avoid situations that could trigger a challenge in your baby. Why take him to an upscale restaurant when you could meet a friend of yours on a picnic in the park? How realistic is it to expect him to behave patiently in a clothing store or be quiet during an hour-long condominium meeting? If you find yourself in a difficult situation, use distraction to avoid a "collision" with him. If you are walking into the mall and you notice a toy store driving your child crazy, quickly point them in a different direction or distract their attention. ("Wow, look at that fountain! Want to throw a penny and express a deso?").

10 - Respect his age and his stadium.

When you ask your 3-4 year old to make his bed or sweep the porch, make sure he knows how. Take your time to teach him new tasks, and do them with him until he becomes independent. Sometimes what seems like a challenge is just the inability to follow a responsibility that is too difficult for him. And he respects the unique world he lives in, especially the way he perceives time. Rather than him dragging him away while he's playing to get in the car, give him a few minutes' notice to help him change activities. ("We'll be leaving in five minutes, so please finish what you're doing"). Of course, there's no guarantee he'll drop out of his game without complaining - he probably will all the way home. But as long as you are patient and consistent, your baby will eventually learn that the challenge is not the right way to get what he wants.

  • children's challenges
  • children 3 years
  • children 4 years
  • 1-2 children years
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