When a child grows up, it is indispensable to "argue the toss" with his parents. This kind of "disobedient" behavior is especially obvious in the "rebellious period".
The first "rebellious period" of a child begins at about two years old. From a delicate baby who is completely dependent on parents, grows slowly into a child with a certain sense of self, and gradually distinguishes the difference between "me" and "you". Have some thoughts and wishes of his own, master a certain language, and do things according to his own wishes.
At this stage, the baby’s "rebellion" is manifested in that he is no longer obedient to parents, but has many ideas and is best at saying "no". Even if your baby simply say "no", he can feel some sense of dominance and pride that he has never experienced before, and also can get the attention of his parents.
When the baby grows up, his actions and language skills are stronger, he will use various non-cooperation to express "I can", "I am great", and even appear the behavior to challenge authority and test the limit of parent's patience. It is the child's "independence" declaration. The children at this stage have confidence in themselves and are eager for their parents' approval and protection.
If independence is an important issue at this stage, how can parents protect the newly budding pride of the children and reduce the destructiveness while guiding their "devil's advocate" behavior?
Parents should observe their own "vocabulary" firstly. How many times do you say "No!", "Don't!", "Can't!" and so on in a day. The intensity of this restrictive and negative language usage will directly affect the frequency of your child's use of similar expressions. Parents do not need to affirm and support every request and idea of their children. But if parents can use more positive language to express their requirements for the children, it is more conducive to establish an alliance with them and mobilize their cooperation, rather than placing them on the opposite side, such as:
Rather than telling children: "You need to eat all breakfast, otherwise we won't go to the playground."
It’s better to say mildly: “Let’s have breakfast and set off to the playground. You want to sit on the tall Ferris Wheel, right?
Similarly, parents also need to guide and encourage their children to express their thoughts and wishes, so the baby will not simply say "no" to everything.
Parents try to extend the limitation of some rules and regulations, give children moderate freedom and options to increase their participation and cooperation.
Should I change my pajamas or brush my teeth first before going to bed? To pack the toys, whether to put the toy car first or pick up the building blocks first, or the child does whatever he wants and tidy up what he sees, which are not major issues related to safety and health. Parents do not need to instill their own thoughts into their children immediately, they only need to make suggestions.
And children are no longer powerless about the surrounding environment and things, they have a certain ability to dominate and control.
Let the child accomplish some things within his capacity independently, instead of getting into unnecessary conflict with the child's willpower, and causing the child’s defiant behavior.
Parents set up the role of " little assistant" for the child. Although children agree that they are "capable" and are curious about many things, and want to take a hand in, even feel that they can accomplish what they want without the assistance of their parents. They still hope to get their parents' approval and joy.
Parents can stimulate the children’s willingness to “cooperate” through their desire to be recognized, such as:
"Can you be my "little assistant"? Look, there are a lot of clothes that need to be washed. Can you help me put these clothes in the washing machine?"
The mother established the concept of "little assistant" and clearly described the specific behavior of the "little assistant", which is more effectively mobilized the child's cooperation.
When the children completing this task, parents promptly affirm their positive performance, such as:
"Thank you for putting the clothes in the washing machine, you are a good helper!"
These feedbacks are designed to establish and strengthen the connection between children's spontaneous behavior and self-efficacy, not just to gain the approval of parents.
Respond to your baby's needs with empathy at the right time, for example:
"Baby likes to play in the water, and there are so many small toys to accompany you. It is fun to take a bath. If we have finished the bath now, let's take out your favorite picture book and read them together, okay?"
By seeing and feeling from the child's point of view, it is not difficult for us to understand the baby's "devil's advocate". If the baby realizes the "understanding", he is more willing to "cooperate" with his parents.
When "devil's advocate" behavior becomes unacceptable.
Anything related to children’s safety and health, parents cannot compromise. For example, running randomly at a bus stop, or insisting on touching a stove that has just turned off with their hands, parents are required to be gentle and firm to stop them and give clear explanations, such as:
"We are not allowed to run around at the bus stop because it's dangerous. Take mother's hand and line up to get on the bus."
In the same way, when a baby’s “devil's advocate” behavior involves interaction with little buddies, such as refusing to share a toy with a little buddy and take away toys aggressively, parents are required to intervene in time to ensure that the children’s behavior is in compliance with social "rules" and guide them to learn to understand the feelings of others.
Children's development, express individuality and independence start from saying "no", which is an important part of the growth process. The child is expressing "self-awareness".
In the face of children's "devil's advocate", parents can only adapt and adjust with maximum patience. After all, children also constantly learn and adjust their behavior through interaction with parents and feedback from parents.