When we were children, my sisters and I would "fight" over who got to "be" different Disney Princesses. Luckily there were enough to go around. Well, I have a little Cinderbwella at my house. Yesterday morning she wanted to wear her "Cinderbwella dress." (oddly enough, Cinderella is on it, though you have to look hard to see.) I had a hard time getting that dress off her to put her jammies on. Luckily they were Dora jammies (she doesn't know who Dora is, Nickelodian is outlawed in my home, I will not tolerate Sponge Bob). On these jammies, Dora is wearing a blue dress. So I told her that Dora was wearing Cinderella's dress and she looked at her shirt and conceded. 1 point for Mommy.
It's funny that it has taken me so long to figure out how to be a mom to a toddler. I think there are 5 main strategies* that are actually effective (and which I am trying to implement more effectively!):
Girl:"I want a cookie."
Me: "Oh, do you hear that garbage truck outside, let's go look."
2. Redirection (kind of similar to #1)
Girl: "I want to watch a movie."
Me: "How about we play with blocks?"
3. Make it a game: (The possibilities are endless with this one, I have to get creative!)
Me: "Where's your hand, oh no, it's hiding, let's find your hand" (while trying to get her dressed.)
4. Give her a job: (again, endless possibilities)
Me: "Can you carry my keys to the car?"
5. Give her a choice between 2 things I'm ok with.
Instead of "Which shoes do you want to wear?" (She will choose sandals in January). I say "Do you want your boots or your purple shoes?" Doesn't always work, but I don't give in if she wants something different, unless it is feasible.
Some things I have found that DO NOT work:
1. Spanking (I have a no-spanking rule that I've broken a handful of times; disastrous!)
2. Time-out. Just doesn't work for a kid as young as my girl, I don't know if I'll ever really use it "you're being bad, get away from me" isn't really the message I want to send.
3. Yelling. I don't really "Yell," but sometimes the tone of my voice is not too respectful. For example, the other night I was reading "The Three Bears" and the Girl kept pointing at everything on the page and talking about it. I was trying to read and got frustrated and told her too sternly to stop. She started crying. I felt like the meanest mom in the world. Not only was I stifling her language and creativity, but I wasn't listening to what was important to her. MEAN! So now I try to let her talk about each page, ask her a question, and then I read it!
At this point I'm working on being consistent and not being too lazy to use the strategies that work. Another strategy that "WORKS": "Hey, I'll give you a candy if you get your coat and shoes on." ha ha!
*I found these strategies from Positive Discipline and made them work for me!*