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Children need to learn and experience for themselves. If we’re always rushing to show them how to do something, they’ll simply let us and won’t try for themselves. Start with Book 1 ‘Being a Parent’ which you can download FREE immediately!

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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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This book introduces the benefits of learning to listen and how to start the ball rolling in enabling your children to talk about issues that maybe bothering them. Importantly, it also looks at what may get in the way of listening and why sometimes we find this hard to do.
Acknowledging a person’s feelings when they are upset is possibly one of the most useful things you can do. However, a lot of times, we try and fix the problem, offer advice, distract or give an opinion and this can make the matter worse because the feelings are stuck inside with nowhere to go.

Someone who encourages us to express our feelings is a person we’d find more understanding and helpful. Having feelings acknowledged has the effect of helping us to actually let go of them and move onto whatever is lying underneath. This in turn, enables us to become clear and solve our own problems and is something that children need to learn to do.

Book 6 – Introduction to Listening
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