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by Paul Jacobson. Dad. Husband. Lawyer. Geek. Blogger. Evangelist. Maven. He blogs at Paul Jacobson and Web. Tech. Law

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a manual that actually worked? The older our little one gets the more I realise that I am grasping in the dark for a way to persuade him to do some of the things I want him to do (bathing, eating a meal, lying still so I can change a full nappy/diaper, that sort of thing).

What I have learned is that he is stubborn, determined and doesn’t respond well to me getting angry. On that note, me getting angry with him just shows who the real child is and it isn’t our 2 year old!

I keep thinking there must be a way to communicate better with him and persuade him to do some of the things we want him to do. A previous girlfriend is a teacher and she often told me that kids crave structure, whether they know it or not, and they tend to thrive when they have a constructive structure to work with (ok, I read in the last bit). I just don’t know how to do that, do you?

I’m starting to see negative effects of me getting angry with him when he doesn’t listen to me. It seems like he gets a little more withdrawn and that really worries me a lot. He wants to be picked up a lot and that suggests insecurity to me. That also bothers me, a lot!

So what works? What lessons have other parents learned? If anything, I am starting to see that my own anger is just an expression of my frustration with a number of factors in my life and that really isn’t fair on our son. There must be a better way.

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