The Rise of the Demanding Toddler

This morning Aiden told me that he needed to get dressed so we could go outside and ride his horse toy.

Here’s how it went down in toddler speak:

Aiden:  Get dressed. {He pulls on his shirt.}
Me:  You would like to get dressed?
Aiden:  I want go outside.  I want ride neigh.  {That’s what he calls his horse.}

Conversations like this have become common place in our house.

Aiden has an opinion about everything and communicates it clearly to us.

He often says, “I don’t like this.” or “I don’t want that.”  “I want ____.”

Sometimes these behaviors are completely acceptable.
For example, I’ll give him choices for foods or activities.
He makes a decision and tells me what he wants.
{sometimes he changes his mind}

Other times, these behaviors are a bit frustrating.
Like this example from last night.

We were having pasta and salad for dinner.
Aiden ate a few bites of pasta.  He ate all of his blueberries and then said he wanted goldfish.
We told him that we were having pasta and salad for dinner not goldfish.

He proceeded to repeat that he wanted goldfish over and over again.
He added in some tears for good measure.

{I will say that I am pleased that he’s using his words to communicate what the problem is rather than just crying.  We’ve been working on that for a long time.  Whenever he would cry about something, I would ask him to use his words to tell what was wrong or to show me what he needed.}

He finally decided to eat more blueberries.

I struggle with little battles like this.

When is it appropriate to give in, and when should I stand my ground?

By allowing Aiden to call the shouts, am I creating problems for the future?

{As a side note, I don’t think he really calls the shots now.  In this morning’s example, we didn’t actually make to outside until after lunch.  I am wondering if it could become an issue in the future…}

Here's Aiden hiding from the camera. He likes having pictures taken on his terms.

What are your thoughts on this?

How do you handle demanding children?

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