what do you do when a toddler doesn't listen to you and plays one parent against the other?

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Brandi - posted on 11/26/2009

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First, toddlers are made to test their boundaries. One of the ways they do this is to see if they can put one parent against the other. Stand together as a unified front. NEVER discuss disagreements in discipline or punishment in front of your child. Instead if one parent begins a form of discipline, let that parent follow thru. If the child complains to you about it, you simply say "I agree with daddy, do as he says" (even if you don't agree at that point in time). Later discuss it with your hubby away from the child and come to an agreement for what to do if this situation arises again.. Get into the habit of asking the child "did you ask daddy?" before succumbing to any request. (Often a toddler will get a "no" from one parent and just ask the other parent to see if they can get what they want) Don't let that happen to you and your husband. Make sure you know if the other was involved or not. Whatever the FIRST parent asked said GOES!!!! No question. Soon, your kids will learn that there is no point in asking the other parent, they will inevitably agree with the first one. Just make sure you and your husband are on the same page and are supporting each other. My husband and I have this "system" in place and it works pretty well. Anytime my daughter asks me for something and daddy is home, I make sure that he and I agree on what the answer should be. Good luck.

Ladean - posted on 11/26/2009

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Depends on the age really....and how he/she is playing the two of you against each other.

In our house, when one of the kids asks me for/to do something the first thing I say is "What did Daddy say?" If thier answer sounds a little fishy to me, I check with Dad....after I tell them that I'm going to. That usually makes them come clean about what his answer really was and we stick together on each others decisions.

Another thing we have "drilled" into the kids is that Daddy and I are the bosses. When the kids start acting up too much, trying to play us against each other, get bossy, ect. We remind them "Who is the boss?" see if that helps. If you want, email me here and I'll try to help you more.

Wishing you the best of luck and a Happy thanksgiving, Ladean

Jamie - posted on 11/26/2009

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The key is communication. Once your kido knows that mom and dad don't make big decisions without the other one's input they will quit. Also helps to always ask "what did Dad say" or "What did Mom say" before giving an answer. Helps kids know that they cannot play one against the other or they will get caught.

Rene - posted on 11/26/2009

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Our children are punished and dont get what they asked for if they ask the other parent after one of us has said no. It donst work if both parents arent on the same page and if they do get away with playing you against each other stop and ask your spouse to goto the next room and talk quickly and come back with a mutual discission and it will stop when your toddler know you are going to work together

Myra - posted on 11/26/2009

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He's a toddler, you two are the adults. The only way he can play one of you against the other is if you have holes in your communication. I say the two of you need to sit down, talk about the thing you agree on, the things you disagree on, and the things you aren't sure of. Write them down so that if either of you forget,m you can pull out the list. If it's something you either don't agree on, or something you aren't sure about, find out what the other thinks when the subject comes up...call them on the phone or whatever you need to do. Once your toddler sees that the two of you have the same answer, and you're sticking together, not fighting or torn apart, he/she will have learned a few things about mom and dad and the two of you will feel better, too (whatever strain your toddler has put on you, this will help because you will be one again!).

Jackie - posted on 11/26/2009

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Put your foot down and stand together as parents. If your toddler keeps this up you won't survive the teenage years! Take back the control with your husbands help and let that little one know who is boss.

Kellie - posted on 11/26/2009

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It helps to make things a group decision, my son wanted to go to a disco so instead of making a decision then and there I told him we would discuss it with dad when he got home. This way my hubby is included in the decision making process and it presents a united front which helps to minimise playing parents off each other.
It worked for us but all kids are different. Be consistant, keep communicating and good luck.

Trish - posted on 11/26/2009

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hi,our 2 year old does do that a little but usually only if daddy says no,he comes to me to see if i will let him,but my 4,6 & 7 year olds do it alot. my partner just try to keep each other informed of decisons the other has made.when we first got together,because my partner already had a child and it had just been the 2 of them for 3 years my partner would argue a bit because his son would ask me if he could do something and if i said no he would wait till i was out of the room and ask his dad,who would most times say yes.so now we have a system that if 1 of us says yes or no to the kids we let each other no.it works well,but there is the occasional tantrum, :)

anyway hope this helps you & sorry its a lil long

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