As all parents know, you do what works for you. I have a pretty hard headed toddler that doesn’t like listening to me. When my husband is home, the kid is on his toes. He will still act up because he’s a 3 1/2 year old boy and he can’t control himself; but as soon as my husband tells him to stop, he pretty much alway does. When I’m home by myself with the kids, it’s a completely different story.
I used to threaten him with “I’m going to call dad if you don’t start listening” but when that stopped working, I had to come up with another plan.
We have talked about police officers before in this house. I’ve told him that if he ever needs help and he can’t find mommy or daddy, it’s okay to talk to a police officer. I have explained to him that they aren’t bad guys [hold your thoughts on that statement] and they only take away the bad people [again, he’s 3, i’m not about to explain police brutality to him] So, I noticed him taking an interest in pretending to be a cop. He’ll say “MOM, I’m taking you to jail!” when we’re playing and things on that nature.
That is when my mom lightbulb went off. I can use that against him. So, recently I’ve been telling him that if he doesn’t listen to his mom that the police can take you to jail for that. It has shaped him right up. He looks terrified of the thought of going to jail that he immediately stops doing whatever it was that he was doing or does exactly what I was asking of him.
It’s probably an awful thing to be teaching him but desperate times call for desperate measures. I don’t want to instill a fear of law enforcement in him but in reality you can go to jail for not listening to the law. In this case, the law is mommy.