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It’s not always easy to change the way you parent your children but knowing that small things could be altered is the first step. In the long run, making changes to your style of parenting, will make life much easier for you and, more importantly, produce happy, confident children. 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 found the overall content of the course to be comprehensive and wide-ranging, with very valuable practical exercises.”

– G.H. Dublin

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Being a parent is about the most important job we do as an adult and book 1, ‘Being a Parent’ looks at the feelings we experience and the way we parent our children. We soon find out that we may unconsciously start parenting in ways handed down from our own parents or we may consciously do it very differently.
Renowned family therapist, Virginia Satir, emphasised in her book, Peoplemaking (1985) that people expect to be good parents just because they are able to conceive and give birth. Nothing can be further from the truth, particularly if your own childhood was lacking in some way.

We do the best we can with what we have available but we need to be aware of what we are doing in terms of listening to our children, allowing them to express their feelings and acknowledging them. This enables them to become self-sufficient adults with high self-esteem, capable of good decision-making throughout their lives.

We look at the pitfalls of parenting, whilst understanding the need to encourage children to take responsibility and make their own decisions. We give a gentle reminder that our roles change as parents as our children grow older.

You’ll also be introduced to Building Bridges, which are activities which you can do alone or with your children and other adults in the family. Practice makes perfect and these exercises will help reinforce the content of the books. Some of them are thought-provoking and may stir up memories from your own childhood but without doubt, they will increase your awareness.

Book 1 – Being a Parent
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