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Old 06-01-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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2 1/2 year old arguing and debating

Does any one else have a younger child who likes to debate everything? If so, what do you do? Initially it was cute. Now it is very annoying. I try hard not to get irritated, but she likes to do it for every little thing. I don't want to kill that part of her, but still would like ideas for maintaining my cool, while making her realize no is no.

I love the Love and Logic solution to arguing, "I love you too much to argue." But I think she is too young for that. I just wasn't expecting this so young. Any tips?

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: 2 1/2 year old arguing and debating

Personally having this type of personality, I would say that "No" is not a good answer, nor is argueing. Sometimes stating the full facts can hold more weight with this type of personality. As a kid I always reacted better to "I am am sorry you may not have a lollipop before dinner, since sweets will ruin your dinner. You want to eat a good dinner to grow big and strong right?" then straight "no" or worse "because I said so". Having the details and a open question to talk through instead of to argue always worked for me. I think it is a hard personality to sometimes figure out, but acknowledging their need to talk things out without letting the conversation getting to the argueing stage is key. It must be super hard with a 2.5 year old debater.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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I think a lot of times it's just attention seeking behavior. I'd pick my fights and ignore others.

I can tell my kids we are having turkey meatloaf for dinner and 1 will argue "I don't like it, I'm not eating it, I'll starve" and I just ignore him.
Other times he'll fight over wearing socks (to go hiking). I drop it but bring the socks. Once we get there, socks go on or he sits in the car (which has never actually happened)

Just keep your cool and try to understand your DD is strong willed and just trying to assert herself and have some power in her environment.
Try to give her other small but big (to her) options.

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Old 06-01-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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Re: 2 1/2 year old arguing and debating

I have a bit of debater myself. I pick my arguments number one... but other times we talk about it. If she argues with me about food, then I try to give her options. If there is a case where I can't do that, I tell her what I want from her reminding her that I am the mommy.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: 2 1/2 year old arguing and debating

I agree with giving a bit of an explanation. dd1 was exactly like your LO. If she wanted to go outside but couldnt b/c we had to xyz instead of saying 'no' I would say 'we are going to xyz and then we'll go outside' then try to offer choices for what needed to be done. At 1st she would try to argue but I would just repeat myself in an even cool tone. If it got to tantrum level I would do the cave man talk thing ('dd1 is MAD. dd1 wants to go outside! dd1 is mad mad mad mama said no!' all said with much feeling and the face to match lol then I would smile and sweetly say 'we're going to xyz then play outside. right now should we use the red or pink brush/get the blue or white cup/put shirt or socks on first/ect' while holding her hand and leading her away).


eta-oh and I was very picky about what battles I picked. I let her wear whatever she wanted, nonmatching shoes-sure ect lol
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
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Re: 2 1/2 year old arguing and debating

It takes two people to argue. I just don't let it get to that point as much as I can. I give a short (think short sentence) reason for the action and then we do whatever it is. "Put your shoes on so we can take brother to school." "Dinner will be soon. Lollipops can be after dinner."

When faced with "I don't like it/want to" my reply is, "I didn't like it/want to at your age either."

If they continue to push, the answer turns into "because I said so." I use this phrase as well when they know good and well why we are doing something.

Later, if they are really still interested, I will discuss it with them more in depth. In the moment, when something needs to be done, I expect my children to do it NOW and not waste our time discussing it. We have two houses of Congress to waste time talking instead of doing something.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:47 PM   #7
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Re: 2 1/2 year old arguing and debating

Thank you for all the input!
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