Help a girl out, will ya?

June 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm 2 comments

My daughter, Alissa, is 4.  Lately, she challenges everything I tell her.  Everything.  

(I thought this wasn’t supposed to start for a few years yet??)

Anyhoo, it’s annoying.  And frustrating.  I’m at my wit’s end with repeating myself.  Our exchanges go something like this:

“Can I please have a cookie?”

“No.  It’s almost dinner time.”

“Just one, Mommy.  I’m sooo hungry.”  (Nice.  She’s learning the art of manipulation early.)

“No.  It’s almost dinner time.”

“Pllleeeeeez.”  Now there’s just a hint of a whine.


“PLEEEEEEZZZ.”  The whine has shifted into full throttle begging.


“BUT MOMMY,” (said in a slightly hysterical, mostly irrational pitch that only dogs can hear), “I HAVEN’T HAD ANY COOKIES TODAY (this is a lie) AND I JUST WANT ONE BEFORE DINNER.”

This conversation occurs multiple times per day.  Doesn’t matter the topic: snacks, more TV, getting a toy at the store, you name it, we’re in full-on I-want-it-now-and-I’m-going-to-argue-Mommy-to-death-about-it mode.


Honestly, I don’t know what to do.  I want my word to be the last word on the subject.  I’m tired of repeating myself eleventy billion times.  My goal is to say no once, with no arguing, guilt-tripping, whining, begging, pleading, or other kind of argument from the short tyrant.  I’ve attempted rational conversation during calm moments, time-outs during whiny moments, and there’s even be a spanking or two for the worst ultimate disobedience moments.

The one thing I haven’t done is be consistent.  Thus, the problem.

Do you have suggestions for something I could try?  Just want to lend some condolences or an empathetic ear?  Your words of encouragement are welcome.


Entry filed under: Life in general.

Just thinking out loud. It’s the little things.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cat  |  June 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Try reading 1-2-3 Magic — it talks about a counting and time-out system and has a whole section on whining and manipulation and that very conversation. It works pretty well for us most of the time on our 2 yr old and 3.5 yr old. I’ve heard great things from a lot of other parents who’ve read the book as well. Best of luck, I haaaaaaate feeling powerless in the face of a little one – so frustrating 😦

  • 2. Cat  |  June 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    btw – the system goes something like

    kid: “may I have a cookie?”
    Mom: “no”
    Kid: “but I am sooooo hungry”
    Mom: “that’s one”
    kid: “but I never ever get cookies”
    Mom: “that’s two”
    kid: “that’s no fair, I’m going to starve! waaaaaaaa”
    Mom: “that’s three, five minutes”
    and send kid to her room for 5 min time out.


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