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In some cases parents make a conscious decision to bring their children up differently from the way in which they were raised. Rather than being an aggressive or a submissive parent, Parenting Skills Online advocates being an assertive parent. Book 9 tells you how but you can get started right away and download Book 1, ‘Being a Parent’ FREE!

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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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“A wonderful bedside reading companion for me as a new mother; it contains great practical advice, which will be a huge asset as my baby gets bigger.”

– J.H. Parkside

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Many parents give up a lot of their own pleasures and pastimes when children come along and, mothers particularly, put the family first and themselves firmly last. It’s important to value our own needs too, get ourselves looked after and receive help and support from others in order to be able to continue giving.
We look at the difference between needs and wants and the way people behave in order to fulfil them. Parents’ needs are as important as those of the children or indeed anyone else.

We all have basic needs to love and be loved, to laugh and play, to have peace, quiet and safety, and to be respected, valued and cared for. Everyone’s needs are 100 percent important and there are ways to get everybody’s needs met without anyone losing out.

Behaviour to get needs met is learned unconsciously from our parents and other adults around us. Very broadly speaking, this behaviour usually falls into two categories; behaving submissively or aggressively. The more desirable behaviour is to be assertive.

Book 9 – Needs and Wants
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