When A Child Attempts to Overpower Their Parents
Updated: Jan 9, 2019
A few months ago, during an in-home workshop, a mom asked “What should I do when my husband and I step out for dinner and need to leave our three-year-old with the babysitter?” “The child simply refuses to go to bed when told and insists on waiting until we return home.”
It should be noted that at this young age, some children often try to exercise control over their parents. This action especially affects their moms. It should come as no surprise, since the first two years of the child’s life, were spent primarily with the mom, who was always present to take care of their needs. A child is not aware of what their best interests may be. All they know is how they want their parents to respond. A child will always do their best to exercise their young will on the parent.
My recommendation would be to keep going out whenever you make plans. Just reassure your child that you will return home, then kiss them goodbye and walk out the door.
It is not unusual how a child tends to behave. After all it is their own little kingdom and they are at their parent’s beck and call. If a child senses that you seem a bit insecure and continue to question yourself, they will attempt to push you all the more.
So, go out and enjoy yourself … you deserve it! If arriving back home, you find the child is still awake, pick them up and immediately head to their bedroom without a word being said.
When the child awakes next morning tell them they will go to bed tonight after dinner because they were up late last night and therefore need their sleep.
Stick to this pattern until the child fully understands it. Be matter of fact with them and diligently follow the plan you've started. With continual practice, you will both be on the right track.
If there’s one trait every parent needs to develop it is to be calm, confident and concise when interacting with their children.