Dealing with a toddler who does not want to take ‘No’, for an answer, and has a meltdown. He does not want to follow instructions, hence he doesn’t want to cooperate.

An uncooperative child usually does not want to accept NO for an answer. They also do not want to follow instructions from the parent. In this scenario, we are dealing with a 3-year old son, let’s call him Pat. Mom is having trouble getting cooperation from this boy.

Uncooperative child-the mom

I would encourage mom to work on the relationship between herself and the son. When there is a good relationship between the two, it’s easier for the son to listen to the mom. Mom needs to be intentional about the relationship issues. for instance, she needs to spend time with Pat doing something the son loves. If he loves watching cartoons, mom once in a while, joins the son and participate. Also, being present by getting in the same mode of enjoying.

Mom to empathize with the son, thereby connecting on an emotional level. Especially, after mom says,’ No’ to the son, and he shows that he is not happy. She needs to let him know that she understands his disappointment, but the answer is still,” No.” Mom needs to be firm, but loving. Even in situations where mom is not involved. Where somebody denied Pat something. She needs to validate the son’s pain or disappointment. Then moves to suggestions if needed. Since empathy communicates love, at the same time allowing the child to accept responsibility for the problem. Children can take as much pressure as the relationship allows.

‘Things done’ department

Mom also needs to work in the things done department. By giving Pat chores that are appropriate for his age. This fosters life skills such as

  • cooperation,
  • responsiveness to authority,
  • giving up one’s agenda,
  • contributing to family life
  • and taking initiative.

Mom to teach son to pick up his toys after playtime. Take his plate to the kitchen when done eating. Washing hands after using the bathroom. And help out with little things in the house.

Even though the son resists Instruction Routine and is uncooperative, mom should keep at it. Knowing that sometimes children resist change. In order to gain the most from an Instructional Routine, mom should keep an eye on the heart.

The Instructional Routine

Step 1

The parent: get close to the child. Don’t shout your instructions across the room or house. By getting close to the child,

  • it gives value to what you are about to say. For younger children, you may hold their hands and look them in the eye.
  • getting close to the child breaks the child’s concentration on what he is doing. He gets to listen to what you have to say.
  • this increases cooperation.

The child– comes when called. Dr. Scott Turansky and Johanne Miller RN BSN in the book- Parenting Is Heart Work training manual:

In fact, coming when called is a “preschool survival skill.”

They emphasize that older children need to come when called too. For younger children, you can make it a game. You may say, ” Pat, I want you to sit on the couch. When I call you, you come over and say, “what mom?”

When Pat comes over after you call him, validate him. Tell him he is learning how to obey. Use a lot of encouragement and praise.

Step 2

Parent– evaluate your timing before you speak. If your child is upset, you need to deal with the situation first. Show empathy and that your relationship with him is more important than the instruction.

The child- children must be ready to receive instructions, ALL the time. Because it’s not about their convenience. In the instructional process, children learn,

  • how to give up their own agenda
  • to think about others instead of themselves.
  • and it’s practice for the future

Step 3-make sure the child knows its NOT a suggestion

Parent: Give instructions. Make sure your child knows its not a suggestion, but an instruction. You don’t say, “Pat, would you like to go take a bath, now?”

Instead, you say, “Pat, go to the bathroom. Its time to take a path.”

Use a calm, matter-of-fact voice. Avoid loudness and intensity, because it wears on the relationship.

Child: The child answers. ” okay, mom”

The response tells the parent 3 things:

  • the child heard what you said.
  • the child intends to follow through.
  • gives the parent a clue about the child’s attitude. If Pat says,” Okaaaaay Moooooom! ” Then, you know you need to deal with the attitude.

Step 4– The tricky stage for most parents

Parent– Wait expectantly. Don’t nag. Give your child time so they learn to be responsible. The child needs to feel uncomfortable until they are done with the assignment. You may remind the child wisely. ” Pat, I’m waiting”

Child: To do the job as if on a mission

Step 5– The only stage the child starts

Child: Reports back to the parent.,” Here is the book mom.” Reporting back teaches children accountability. By this, the child shows that he knows that the job is important.

Parent: Inspects and releases.

if the job needs some inspection. If the child needs to do some touch up tell him so. Praise for a job well done.

Release by the parent gives the child a sense of freedom.

In Conclusion

Cooperation and responsibility grow out of a good Instructional Routine. Because a good Instructional Routine has a balance of :

  • firstly, clarity
  • also affirmation,
  • furthermore firmness,
  • finally, teamwork.

Consequently, the child moves from an uncooperative child to being cooperative, a team player and responsible. Mom spends time adjusting the way she gives instructions. And the way the son responds to the instructions will dramatically improve their relationship, thereby, making family life work more efficiently, and teach the son valuable lessons for the future. When necessary mom to use The Break to help the son think through things and repent.

The parent to continue praying and loving their child. Knowing change is a process. Even the Instructional routine can take a while for some kids to follow through. But, hey it’s doable. Keep on keeping on.

How to deal with a child, who reacts with anger when frustrated.

An angry child usually causes frustration for their parents. children-hurting-parents. It’s important to know that emotions are God-given, but they can be misused.  I encourage the parent to spend time reflecting on your emotions. Because if you process your emotions well yourself, its easier to connect on a heart level with your child.

Emotions come from the heart of a person, therefore, parents need to connect with their children emotionally, on a deeper level. Emotionally connecting with your child will soften their heart, and prepares the way for much of the hard work of parenting. Thereby, making it more tolerable or even enjoyable. When the parents connect on a deeper level with the child, it’s easier for the child to cooperate with the parents.

Jesus was a good example of leaving behind an agenda, in order to care for people’s needs and connect with their hearts

 In Luke 10:38-42 He rebuked Martha for her busyness and affirmed Mary for sitting with Him.

At the Home of Martha and Mary
38. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” N.I.V.

Jesus here emphasized relationships over other activities. Not saying what Martha was doing was wrong, but Mary chose the best and most beneficial activities.

Jesus ministered to people’s needs by feeding 5000, Matthew 14: 13-21

13. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15. As evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17. “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18. “Bring them here to me,” He said. 19. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were leftover. 21. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Paul In Romans 12: 15

” Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” This indicating emotionally connecting with others is important.

An angry child-During nondiscipline times

During nondiscipline times, have a meeting with your child. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, and help the child understand what’s going on in his/her heart. You also need to teach them three basic emotions: sad, mad and happy and have them talk about the visual cues we receive from others that tell us they are upset. Explain that at times when children are sad, afraid or disappointed they cover up these emotions with being mad. This is not intentionally done for the most part. Because it takes vulnerability and courage to admit sadness or fear. Anger becomes the preferred response because children have bought into the lie that angry people are strong. Teach the child to see emotions in others, so they develop greater empathy and relational maturity.

Teach the child to:

  • Identify the cues- the place where they can tell they are starting to get angry eg the hairs on his arms start to stand up or they can’t think straight. Tell your child that you will raise the awareness level of the cues like when you start seeing him raising his voice, becoming irritable then you come in. Give them this Scripture- James 1: 19,” be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Also, inform the child that the Bible does not say don’t get angry, but be slow to get angry, meaning be patient and have endurance. It’s not wrong to get angry but meanness and disrespect are not acceptable. Negative feelings don’t justify poor responses.

Emphasize also, that when one gets angry it’s important to deal with anger quickly since when one is angry for a long time they give an opportunity for the devil to come in and make a mess.

Ephesians 4: 26-27

26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Tell your child to choose a better response

i) Coach your child in using The Break Technique the-break-method as a way of pulling back. This method can be used for a child of any age. The parent just adjusts to the age of the child. If your child says it’s difficult to pull back, they would rather vent their anger, you may give them:

Proverbs 29: 11,” A fool gives full vent to his anger but wise a wise man keeps himself under control.” Explain to him/her that he/she is not a fool but wise that’s why he/she is eager to tame their anger and he/she will do it if he keeps at it.

ii) talk about it instead of reacting emotionally.
get help from the parents

iii) slow down and persevere instead of whining and complaining about it

iv) use non-emotional times to practice the right responses

v)Give your angry child hope by encouraging them and giving them Scripture Romans 5:3-4 trials help us develop endurance, endurance, character, character helps us develop hope. I also strongly encourage parents to pray for your child and pray for yourselves, so that you develop the tenacity to help out your child

Don’t engage with an angry child-caution to the parent

chhild's anger
Engaging with an angry child

 The parent to stop and pull back instead of pushing forward. If the child pushes forward don’t engage with the angry child, because that will be adding gasoline to fire. If you engage with an angry child, you lose the battle. Because the child usually would want to argue with the parent. Why? So that the parent loses focus on the real issue.  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare-Proverbs 15:1-3.

When the child is angry and you are also angry, you may end up saying negative statements to the child which is not good for them. That will eventually cause your relationship to deteriorate some more. And usually, children remember those words. Also, remember words are powerful. You can build or destroy with words. Since the parents are an authority in the lives of their children, what you say does matter a lot. Children will easily believe it. In the future, you might end up trying to undo the damage your words have caused. This is not to scare you or make you feel guilty. We all make mistake, but it is to make you more aware of the words you speak.

What is the heart?

the heart

There is a physical heart that pumps blood from and around the body. Then, there is another kind; this one is not physical. In the book , Parenting is Heart Work by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller-

“The heart is where longings grow, secrets are kept, pain is felt, plans are devised, commitment solidifies, and character is developed. In short, the heart is a person’s center; the deepest spot in one’s life.”

To purchase Parenting is Heart work click the clink below paid link)

What is the heart?-My training

I was trained as a Biblical Parent coach by The National Canter For Biblical Parenting, and Dr. Scott was My mentor/coach. So, what I teach is mostly leaned on the teachings of my Coach. As one who has raised two girls that are now adults, I heard lots of aha moments. Just by looking back and seeing how my husband and I could have maneuvered our parenting when they were younger. But hey, it’s not too late because I can always things here and there. Because everybody at any age has a heart, whereby the make decisions and resolves. I can see where we have erred and are able to help others.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller go on to say, “When you talk to yourself, you’re doing work in your heart, sorting out issues, synchronizing them with other priorities and values, and preparing responses. In Parenting Is Heart Work training manual Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller also say,

If you were to take a tour of your child’s heart, you would find several items of interest. You’d see things like emotions, values, convictions, thoughts, fantasies, and desires. In short, the heart is the place where a child’s beliefs turn into commitments.

The heart is the central processing unit of a person. Jesus said,” Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

If you can help children change their hearts, then you’ll see lasting change in their lives.

The heart and its productions

I’m just thinking, at times we talk ourselves into despair, that’s your heart leading you astray. So no matter what comes our way, our hearts will determine how we react. Doctor Scott Turansky and Joanne miller continue by explaining that discouragement, anxiety, fear, and anger are felt in the heart. With peace, joy, love also producing their fruit in the heart. It’s therefore vital for parents to have an insight on whats going on in their child’s heart, and work based on that. Instead of just majoring on behavior change. The child needs to change their way of thinking in order to change what they are doing wrong. Proverbs 23:7- As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

The heart is the place where children talk to themselves, adults too.

As a parent, you have issues of your heart too. As you deal with your child, you may start to notice where you lock heads, that could be that you have a specific aspect of your life that also needs change.

When children speak up

At times children will let you know, what your problem is, ouch! Swallow your pride, and avoid responding there and there. Except if you know you have the right answer, and you are not angry at the time. Let’s say one of your children says, ” My problem with you, mom is you always jump into conclusions, without enough evidence” Think of how you would react. You might tell the kid to give you examples. And try to chill, as they say. Let the kid you are grateful that he opened up and you will talk about it later. Examine your heart and follow through.

Our children want to see us vulnerable so they can learn to be vulnerable too. They also need to know that correction does not mean you are a failure. But we need each other as a family. When one is down one encourages the other. Then one has a blind spot, one alerts the other.

Getting to know what was in the heart

My husband I were talking to one of the young people last weekend, and she told us that children just want their parents to listen to them. There should be open communication, even when we differ in our opinions. Proverbs 20:5 -The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man’s understanding draws them out. What’s in someone’s heart takes somebody who understands, or has wisdom for the other person to open up to them. Children are no different. Even when we have a different opinion, our listening to them boosts their esteem. When you listen to your children you get to know what they think; what excites them, their plans, what’s new, if you know how to probe them well they can tell you their struggles and fears.

Spending time with them, doing what they love, helps because usually most kids when they are really happy, that’s when they open up. That enhances your relationship. I have learned to listen to my adult girls, just to support and not always to advise them. Of course, as a parent, I might advise here and there, but advice can wait for another time. By loving, listening and affirming them, when they achieve something or just an improvement, you would be cultivating your relationship with them. That way you will be connecting on the heart level. Thereby making it easy for them to listen to you.

You cannot change your child’s heart.

Only God can do that. As a parent, you are one of the instruments God uses to change your child’s heart. You care for, instructs, corrects, coach and discipline your children. You can also teach the Scriptures to your children. Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

Take your children to church or encourage them to go to church if they are now adults. You pray for your children and show them, unconditional love.

When your child receives salvation then ultimate change can take place. Salvation takes place in someone’s heart/spirit. Then as you continue feeding them with the Word of God, mind renewal happens.