I love my two year old son, Jude, to pieces. However, like most two year olds, he can stress me out to the point of wanting to tear my hair out some days. Jude is almost three and as he gets older he gets better and better at the fine art of arguing. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter what the subject is, he just loves to argue.
I’d find myself playing a game of “yes” and “no” ping pong with him over everything from nap time to coming home from a day of fun. I’m sure if you’ve ever been around a toddler you know what I’m talking about. I love that he’s becoming more assertive and sure of himself, but sometimes I just need him to give it a rest and stop trying to negotiate with me.
I came across this article that claimed I could put an end to his negotiating with three simple words: Asked and Answered. I read the article and I thought “Yeah right! There’s no way that will work for Jude.” I was dead wrong. One day, soon after reading the article, I told Jude that in a few minutes it would be nap time. He replied with, “No, don’t want to go to bed!” I told him that was too bad because it was almost nap time, and he just kept telling me he didn’t want to take a nap. Then I remembered the asked and answered approach. I was skeptical, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to try. The next time he told me he didn’t want to have a nap, I said, “Jude, you already asked me that and I already answered no. Asked and answered. Okay?” Much to my surprise, Jude said, “Okay, Mummy.” And I didn’t hear another negative word about nap time that day.
I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that this will work for the rest of his life, but it’s been working great for me lately. The first time I used the technique I gave him the explanation of what it meant, the second time and each time since, all I had to say was, “Asked and answered.” Whatever the argument is about, every time I say those words to him he stops arguing and replies with, “Okay, Mummy.”
Are you as skeptical as I was? Try it out with your little one! Even if it doesn’t work for you, what’s the harm in trying?