On Monday I wrote about Wesley's new school. We love it and love the sweet little boy he is growing into. However, over the past few weeks of incredible transition, we've also discovered how strong-willed and stubborn our little man is. He's just 16 months old and doesn't communicate well at all. He prefers to point even when we insist on baby sign. The lack of communication is frustrating to him, I know. But he's also learning the meaning of no.
Of course he's also turning into a toddler - fits are frequent and he's sharing his opinions and preferences. He is a stubborn and strong-willed child. We are working on redirecting, ignoring, and setting boundaries. Rationally, I know it's completely normal, but it hurts my heart each time I have to hold him down to change his diaper or brush his teeth.
Mealtime is especially frustrating. For example, dinner is often more frustrating and aerobic than relaxing and enjoyable. We feed Wesley whatever we are eating - no special means and no "kid food." This went well for a long time but the past few weeks he decides each day what he likes and what he doesn't like. Something he would eat the day before, he won't even put in his mouth just a day later. In fact, he'll SCREAM, throw his arms around, and shut his mouth as tight as he can. If we force food into his mouth, he'll usually realize it's not poison and eat until he decides he's no longer interested. We are interested in making sure that he's not a picky eater, but this might be backfiring on us!
We have tried redirecting his attention to something else, encouraging him when he does well, and ignoring bad behavior. We know that fits and temper tantrums are going to happen, but the frequency of them are starting to stress me out. I'm not entirely sure the best way to deal with this behavior. We LOVED Baby Wise and would love another book like this that might help me navigate the toddler years. I've heard that On Becoming Toddlerwise, Happiest Toddler on the Block, and Love and Logic are excellent resources. I haven't read any of them, but they are all on my reading list. :-)
And do you have any advice for me on books or resources on how to best parent my sweet boy? Any stories of a stubborn or strong-willed kid of your own? Misery loves company, you know. :-)
Some of those links are affiliate links but Amazon.com doesn't know I exist and I've never made more than a few pennies.