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It’s very tempting to jump in and help your child in all sorts of situations. Allowing them to try things out, like dressing themselves, teaches them how to look after themselves, even if you do find it slightly frustrating at times! Download Book 1, ‘Being a Parent’ FREE right now!

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PostHeaderIcon Strong-Willed Two-Year Old. Help!

My two-year old daughter is becoming increasingly demanding and strong-willed. I don’t seem to be able to move without her either screaming or hanging onto me all the time. It’s as if she just wants her own way all the time. It’s incredibly frustrating as I can’t get anything done and sometimes I find I’m so tired I lose my temper and shout at her, which I’m always sorry for afterwards.

Have you any suggestions on how to get through this ‘terrible two’s’ phase any easier?

Sandra, Epping, UK

Supernanny’s reply:

Children learn about attachment to their mother, or primary care-giver, at an early age but if for any reason this attachment isn’t secure, such as the child or yourself may have spent some time in hospital, the child can become quite anxious when you leave her or are out of her sight.

While you may find her behaviour a sign of her developing a strong will and ‘trying to get her own way’, she genuinely does feel as if she’s being left alone.

The one thing children of all ages require is attention. If they can’t get good attention, they’ll behave in such a way as to get any attention, good or bad. Pushing her away and getting angry will only make the situation worse.

I would suggest spending as much time with her as possible over the next few days, playing or reading with her and ensuring that you let her know if you have to go into another room so that she is aware and can come with you. At the same time, if you can start to accept and acknowledge her feelings (see Book 2 ‘Feelings’) and speak to her openly and congruently about what you have to do, you will find she will quickly be a happier child. A child’s natural state is happiness and within a week of giving her lots of good attention, you should find a significant change.

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I think the focus of your course is brilliant as it took me years at university and doing college courses to gain some of the information you have managed to compact into these e-books. Conscious parenting is very much a step in the right direction for people wanting to be more aware of their relationship with all people (including themselves). It is an extremely thorough, well thought out and planned course. I actually can’t fault it – well done!

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Bearing in mind everyone has needs which need to be met, it’s important to know whose needs are greater at different times. Sometimes, in an effort to get what we want, others may see our behaviour as unacceptable, but it’s a good idea to look at four factors determining how accepting we are.
If we are feeling tired and irritable, sometimes it doesn’t take much to push our buttons but if everyone is happy, there’s no problem. However as human beings we all have the same needs and behave in ways to get those needs met, which is a normal and healthy situation.

For people who don’t get their needs met, they may resort to more extreme behaviour. While there’s nothing wrong in wanting your needs met but the behaviour can become undesirable or inappropriate and this can be seen negatively.

So it’s more useful to look at the behaviour in terms of whether we find it acceptable of unacceptable. In that way we are not labelling the child or the behaviour but looking at our own needs at the time. ‘Whose problem is it?’ teaches you how to identify who’s needs haven’t been met and how to deal with such situations.

Book 4 – Whose Problem Is It?
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