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97

In my experience, he often doesn't know himself what he means. I've heard a lot of four-year-olds ask "Why?" ad infinitum -- sometimes it's just a way of saying, "Tell me more." I would suspect that for most four-year-olds, asking "Why?" is a way of trying to learn more about the things around them, but I think that they are often looking for a simple ...


28

Often the solution here is as simple as reframing the request. So if he is playing with blocks and it's time to leave for school, no matter how much advance notice you give and no matter that you leave for school at the same time every day, when you announce "time to leave for school!" he may well resist and refuse and generally push back. So try asking ...


20

My experience is that, yes, first of all, a small child's "Why?" is usually "Please keep talking." However, I have also found that sometimes they do have particular questions, and that they learn to ask clearer questions if you help them realize that there are many possible questions. While it probably won't work the first time, try offering them options ...


13

I don't know if it's the case for you, but one thing I see a lot of parents of strong-willed children do repeatedly is ask a question, then get frustrated when the child answers in the negative. If a negative answer is not acceptable, then don't ask a question! Reserve questions for when you are honestly okay with any response. Bad: Do you want to go ...


7

But, he's been asked to be the ring bearer in my cousin's wedding. If we accept, the event is going to require a suit. No, it shouldn't be if you accept, it should be if he accepts. If you haven't, then do tell him about the occasion and the do tell him in detail what exactly is he going to do there. Tell him that he can't back out if he says yes once. ...


7

If my son asked me why water was transparent, I'd honestly not be able to answer him. I think I'd have to say something like "I honestly don't know. Now you mention it, I'd like to know that myself. Shall we try and find out together?" Make it kind of a fun science challenge.


6

"Why" is a semi-specific invitation to interact and to teach The child is saying, to paraphrase: "Please talk to me about the water. In addition, please bring in other interesting topics related to the water which I may or may not be aware of yet. I am in a mood to learn. Also, I like it when you engage with me verbally because it makes me feel happy ...


6

Usually, kids tends to accept change better if they're prepared and know what will come. I would then go that way and expose the short-term planning to him : now you can play there, but in 30 minutes we'll be going to the pool, then to the movie. Once at the pool, be a bit more accurate : around 3PM we'll be going out the pool and go to the movie, and so on. ...


4

A totally different (and probably complementing) aproach from Ossum's Mom's brilliant answer (+1) would be to make sure that these children feel that they are important to you. That they matter to you as opposed to you being just "that funny person that stops by". That is, talk to them, listen actively and remember what they tell you. At the next visit, show ...


4

For each family, find things you do well or enjoy that the parent(s) do not, and find a fun way to bring the children into your world -- assuming they're old enough for that activity. Do you like fly fishing, but this couple does not? Take the kid(s) fly fishing. Do you like art museums but this family never seems to go to one? Take them to an art ...


4

To me, the word "toddler" emphasizes a characteristic gait or style of movement, toddling. Toddlers are mobile, but their movement is a little awkward and inefficient. Adults don't trust toddlers to have an accurate sense of their own physical limits, and so toddlers require fairly close supervision to keep them from hurting themselves. I think a child ...


4

First off, I agree with arved to some extent: once in preschool, let the preschool teachers handle things - if they're willing to. The dropoff exchange is a tricky thing though, and sometimes the teachers will prefer you to make sure she is (somewhere/doing something specific) when you drop off. Most I've met are happy to help manage it, though; but talk ...


3

I agree with @Lance's answer that it's very possible that you might be taking this more seriously than you need to. That was my first impression. I'm not sure that I would consider his behavior as solely manipulation to get his way. It might be that when he's sad, he really just does miss the comfort of the mother he was born to and continues to see every ...


3

We went to one wedding when our oldest was three, and managed it by: Talking about it ahead of time (we didn't have an opportunity for 'practice' runs as the shirt was at Grandma's, but we would've done that if we could) Making a big deal out of the shirt ("Grandma bought this shirt just for you!") Showing him Daddy dressed up similarly Showing him the ...


2

First, don't punish him! I highly doubt he is intentionally deciding not to use the restrooms because he just feels like being naughty, these are accidents that he is unable to avoid. I'm sure the embarrassment of them is more then enough punishment to make him want to stop them, further punishment will not help. Worse, punishing him for accidents he ...


2

Our almost-four year old still hits and bites some, particularly when frustrated, so I can sympathize. We have made some strides with him, though, which show us that it is possible to overcome it. Our son hits basically for one reason: lack of ability to deal with frustration, particularly frustration over a lack of control. So, we focus on two things: ...


2

If you are uncertain whether a question is about the definition of a term, you can quickly figure it out by asking. In this case: "do you know what transparent means"? If the answer is "no", you explain what transparent means. (This isn't a philosophical question in any deep sense; it's just a definition of a word. You needn't worry about whether your ...


2

My son is 2.5-years-old, but has had to take allergy medication for quite some time. While most of the medicines have some sort of sweetness added to them, they're still not a pleasant experience. Although, he's had various other prescriptions (antibiotics) that aren't as pleasant as the allergy medicines. My solution may not work for you, as my son has to ...


2

One method I would suggest is dulling the child's sense of taste. There are a few methods you can take to try and do this. From personal experience, these efficacy of each method tends to vary based on the exact nature of the foul substance to be ingested. Have them suck on a sugar-free candy in advance of taking the medicine. The artificial sweeteners ...


1

I have been in the situation in a couple different ways, and it is surely two things: We always read too much into things, but it is always important to continue to be that parent because the alternative has lasting negative effects. The "i want to go to the other parents" is a very intelligent way of manipulation, to suggest that he knows everyone is ...


1

Mary Poppins has some good advice for this scenario: "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." While sugar itself might not be the best option, try mixing the medicine into something sweet. It probably won't entirely disguise the taste, but it should at least mask the taste enough that the experience isn't too traumatic for the child. Some ...


1

I think humility in this sense is referring to a characterstic or quality of personality, which is either innate, or aquired. Those that are acquired are acquired slowly, over many interactions or situations where the behavior is engaged in and either reinforced, discouraged, or extinguished based on feedback- or lack thereof. I think, as a parent, the ...


1

None of this sounds abnormal to me; I suspect and what he's looking for is more verbal contact and attention. The oratorial tautologies (repetition of the same idea different ways) is a very common pattern when teaching children; he has probably picked up on the pattern. I found this behavior annoying, as well, and learned a few techniques to curtail it. ...



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