Obstinate Toddler

Jack woke up around 4am last night and totally stripped.  He didn’t want to wear pajamas, socks, or a diaper.  He peed all over his bed.  It took me about an hour and a half to negotiate him back into his clothes.  In the end I bribed him with chocolate.

This morning he didn’t want to wear a diaper or clothes AGAIN.  After trying unsuccessfully for an hour to get him dressed, I turned to David who managed to get him to “fly like an airplane” into his “airplane clothes.”  And then all was well.

Reverse psychology works sometimes…but not in the case of getting him dressed.  He is getting more and more stubborn and even *I* can’t out-stubborn him.  I try to give him choices but he snubs them all.  I try to put my foot down and force him to do things after the nice way doesn’t work and he just rips off his clothes anyway.  I try reverse psychology with limited success.  Bribery only works if I can figure out what he finds to be incredibly valuable.

I’m exhausted and frustrated.  How long does this phase last??

3 thoughts on “Obstinate Toddler”

  1. In our home there are two rules that fit with this stage:

    1- boys who don’t wear diapers use the potty. (Every time the boys striped I put them on the toilet.)

    2- if we are goign out or having company, everyone needs to be wearing clothes.

    Otherwise we let the boys do what they want with their clothes. Every child is different, of course, but I’ve found with ours that if they have the freedom to choose what (and how much!) they wear when we’re home and just us, they’re more likely to comply when we need them to. David is wise, making it into a game helps a lot (we have races to see if Reed can get dressed faster than I can change Owen.)

    But there’s no easy answer! Good luck!

  2. I know exactly what you mean about not wanted to create any stress surrounding the potty — I feel the same way! I just very matter-of-factly say, when I see a little naked boy, “that must mean you want to go potty!” It worked really well with Reed, and now that Owen is starting to undress we’ve started it again with him. Turns out, sometimes we were right! (But, as a little brother, he does not SIT on the toilet — he stands on the stool in front of the toilet, pees on the stool, and then dumps a third of a roll of toilet paper into the bowl before flushing. Did I forget to mention that he needs privacy and does this all with the door closed?)

    You’re pretty tuned-in to Jack. I’m sure this stage won’t last long for you and is probably a developmental bridge to something else. (and most likely a new annoying phase! ha!)

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