This article is also available in Italian.
Children around this age are not easy to handle when they start to resist your requests. Let us remember that the child is a person and as such we try to give him respect, and consider his feelings even when we are angry with him. When the child imposes its will, he does it because he needs to form his own personality. Therefore, to understand his needs, we must realize, what blend in the brain of our little one.
When he is between 2 and 4 years old, he will
- Express themselves better through the language
- He needs experience, which is what allows him to learn things for themselves.To all the kids really like doing things alone.
- He is more interested in games, and other children. In this way, make friends.
- It is increasingly clear his self-determination; the categorical “no“.
- He still has a great need for closeness, care and attention on your part.
- The child could make simple choices such as choosing the cheese or ham on the sandwich, but can not decide to go without shoes in winter, or the schedules for a nap and lunch, etc. …
- He has more humor and imagination.
It is safer for the child that the parents decide. But they should try to decide by choosing a pretty nice way, without threats or punishment otherwise we would be in a constant battle that certainly does not help the child, but neither the parent-child relationship.
Some tips to help parents to deal with this period of growth of the child.
- Make things easier for the child, not asking questions about everything. Eg.: Do you want milk?If you have already determined that the child will drink the milk, it is better to say: Now I’ll give you the milk.
- Respond when your child asks you something and avoid a lot of hassle. The child insists as long as you do not answer, or he will give up to communicate with you.
- The child still needs your attention and your guide. It would be nice if you show your child something exciting and interesting in the environment that surrounds you. The child wants to learn! And children who learn at home are those who learn better!
- Facilitate the tasks so that the child can do alone (such as dress himself).
- Help him so that he can do things successfully.
- Be consistent and determined, when something forbidden. The child loves the sharp boundaries and clear.
- Remember that you can not punish your child and be nice or do something nice.
- The child learns to be positive through the support and praise from you but also watching other people take positive action.
- Recognize good deeds of the child.
- Highlight what they do both adults and other children, so that he can learn through other people’s behavior.
- Teach your children to take care of other people, show yourself a good model more about what you do and say.
- Let your child do some small job at home, for example: set the table or washing dishes. This increases confidence in the child.
- Let the child help you, to prepare for a trip with others.
- Teach your children to express anger and disagreement with the words. It is not forbidden to be angry, but we must not harm other people, destroy objects, etc… Do not let your child get benefits from a very negative behavior.
- Help your child, if necessary, to have a positive contact with other children. It is very important for children who are interested in other children and to have friends.
And do not forget … have fun with your child as much as possible!
Text edited by the pediatrician May Britt Drugli and by the assistant childcare Hilde Bjertnes and kindly offered me by the Norwegian Health Service, Municipality of Oslo. The translation is by Tamara De Zotti.