Look at Me!
As you may have guessed by now, C is what some people might call "willful". He wants to do what he wants to do, and he doesn’t want to be told "no". Of course, this makes it all the more important for us to say "no". In response, he developed all sorts of ways of ignoring us.
As a parent, it is quite frustrating to be scolding a child while he’s looking around the room, smiling slightly. In C’s case. even if you pick him up and hold his face two inches from your own, he will look away. He’ll probably even smile.
So, we developed a new routine. When we need him to look at us (for whatever reason), we say "Look at Me!" very forcefully. There was a brief learning curve, but this technique now works. When I say "look at me", he looks at me and pays attention to what I’m saying. It’s a great thing when we need to get his attention in the park, and when we need to drive home an unpleasant lesson.
A clear case of good parenting, right?
Well, let’s call it a qualified success.
The other day, C wanted some M&M’s. I mean he really wanted them. After saying "no" a couple times, I started ignoring the request. Soon I had a Toddler standing squarely in front of me, saying in a very loud voice, "Look At Me! Hey! Look at Me!" What could I do? I looked at him while he said very slowly, and very distinctly, "I – want – M – and – Ms."
I won’t tell you whether he got them or not.